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Study opportunities

Keisuke Yonehara's lab

Example of a current/available student project (Bachelor/Master/PhD) 

Vision restoration by in vivo direct reprogramming for converting glial cells to neurons


We aim to reprogram retinal glial cells to convert to neurons in vivo to restore vision in retinal neurodegeneration such as glaucoma. For this purpose we will transfer genetic and epigenetic factors to genetically labeled retinal glial cells by the injection of adeno-associated viral vectors.

Lab background:

  • How are sensory inputs processed by visual circuits?
  • What is the function of individual cell types in computation and behaviour?
  • What are the genetic and activity-dependent mechanisms of circuit development?
  • How can we genetically treat common visual disorders?


We address these fundamental questions in circuit neuroscience mainly by focusing on visual circuits across retina, superior colliculus, thalamus and visual cortex. The logic of our research plan is to first identify a computation performed by a given neuronal circuit comprising distinct cell types in the adult brain. Second, to investigate how the computation is performed by linking the activity and synaptic connectivity of individual cell types in the circuit to the computation that the circuit achieves. Third, to examine the role of individual cell types in transforming the sensory input into output behavior. Finally, to study the genetic mechanisms by which the elementary circuit motifs are assembled, and how its dysfunction can lead to disease.


In vivo 2-photon functional imaging, electrophysiology, optogenetics, trans-synaptic viral tracing, behavioral analysis, molecular biology, transcriptomics, proteomics, and mouse genetics.

Other student (master/PhD) projects available:

Brain circuit mapping using novel light-inducible recombinase systems

Imaging of brain activity in freely-moving mice using head-mount miniscope

Single-cell transcriptome analysis of mouse superior colliculus for characterizing cell types

In vivo genome editing for visualizing endogenous neuronal proteins

Development of a viral vector-based cell type targeting method for gene therapy

The successful applicant is:

Hard working, team working, curiosity driven, ambitious, analytical, good at programming 

Please contact Group Leader Keisuke Yonehara directly, if interested.