Structural Circuit Core

The Structural Circuits Core offers state-of-the-art anatomical mapping of neural circuits through automated use of brain clearing technology paired with meso- and micro-scale imaging of the central nervous system

The SCC offers cutting-edge anatomical mapping of neural circuits involved in addiction. Integrated with the University Imaging Center and utilizing the UMN Informatics Institute, the SCC also provides infrastructure for automated use of brain clearing technology paired with meso- and micro-scale imaging of the CNS, coupled with computational approaches to mine information from the resulting large sets of data. This Core will provides investigators with a set of powerful tools to establish the anatomical connectivity of discrete elements of neural circuits (e.g. neurons that express a specific molecular marker or activate an immediate-early gene during a particular behavioral epoch). These elements can be genetically tagged with a fluorophore, but antibody labeling in cleared, whole-brain tissue is also an option (or a combination). An important feature of the SCC is the capability to generate powerful quantitative datasets by registering sets of individually imaged brains from a given treatment condition.

SCC Staff

Paul Mermelstein, PhD  Dr. Mermelstein is a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience in the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Sarah Heilbronner, PhD  Dr. Heilbronner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience in the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Mark Sanders, PhD  Dr. Sanders is .....
Thomas Pengo, PhD  Dr. Pengo is the Associate Director of the UMN Informatics Institute (UMII). His role is both to provide direction for UMII and to provide image analysis services for any researcher at UMN. His background in computer engineering and he has over a decade of experience in image analysis makes him ideally suited for guiding the development and coordination of the computational platform.