Research

The Gradinaru Lab studies the mechanism of action for deep brain stimulation (DBS), a therapeutical option for motor and mood disorders such as Parkinson’s and depression. Our previous work highlighted the importance of selectively controlling axons and not local cell bodies in modulating behavior, a principle that might play a generalized role across many effective deep brain stimulation paradigms. We are now particularly interested in the long-term effects of DBS on neuronal health, function, and ultimately behavior.

In addition, the lab continues to push forward optogenetic technologies by developing tools for electrical and biochemical control and localizing them to subcellular compartments. To achieve the goals of neuronal circuits investigation and tool development for neuroscience the Gradinaru lab uses advanced Molecular and Synthetic Biology; Electrophysiology (in vitro and in vivo); Behavior; Imaging (2-photon), Optogenetics (gene delivery of photosensitive proteins to specific cell types) and CLARITY (slicing-free whole brain imaging and molecular phenotyping).

Gradinaru Lab is a great fit for any interdisciplinary-minded person. Projects in the lab range from studying the impact of neuromodulation on neurodegeneration and behavior to engineering needed tools (molecular, cellular, hardware) for neuroscience research. If you are interested in joining our team, please email Dr. Gradinaru (viviana at caltech.edu) your CV and a brief description of your scientific interests.

Work in the Gradinaru Laboratory at Caltech is funded by the following awards (to VG): NIH Director's New Innovator IDP20D017782-01;NIH/NIA 1R01AG047664-01; NIH BRAIN1U01NS090577; NIH/NIMH 1R21MH103824-01; Beckman Institute for Optogenetics and CLARITY; Pew Charitable Trust; Kimmel Foundation; Human Frontiers in Science Program; Mallinckrodt Foundation; Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF2809 to the Caltech Programmable Molecular Technology Initiative; Michael J. Fox Foundation; Caltech-GIST; Caltech-City of Hope Biomedical Initiative.

Detailed Research Program