Westmeyer, Gil

Molecular Devices for Imaging and Control of Brain Function

My laboratory is focused on developing next generation molecular imaging and control technology for neuroscience.
Our goal is to obtain dynamic information on molecular events in neurons to monitor neural activity across entire intact brains and thereby complement optical methods mostly restricted to invasive imaging of small areas of the brain surface.
To this end, we employ bioengineering and genetic techniques, chemistry as well as nanotechnology to generate molecular contrast agents that translate molecular processes of interest into dynamic signals detectable by non-invasive imaging technology such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Optoacoustics. Complementarily, we work on molecular devices to control cellular processes non-invasively.
We validate this methodology with a variety of biochemical and cell culture methods and apply it to fundamental questions in neuroscience and preclinical models of neuropsychiatric diseases.

Selected publications:

Stiel, A. C. et al. High-contrast imaging of reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins via temporally unmixed multispectral optoacoustic tomography. Optics letters 40, 367–370 (2015).

Westmeyer, G. G., Emer, Y., Lintelmann, J. & Jasanoff, A. MRI-Based Detection of Alkaline Phosphatase Gene Reporter Activity Using a Porphyrin Solubility Switch. Chem. Biol. 21, 422–429 (2014).

Shapiro*, M. G., Westmeyer*, G. G., Romero, P. A., Szablowski, J. O., Kuster, B., Shah, A., Otey, C. R., Langer, R., Arnold, F. H., and Jasanoff, A. (2010) "Directed evolution of a magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent for noninvasive imaging of dopamine", Nat Biotechnol 28: 264-270; * contributed equally

Westmeyer, G. G., Durocher, Y., and Jasanoff, A. (2010) "A secreted enzyme reporter system for MRI", Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 49: 3909-391

Westmeyer, G. G., and Jasanoff, A. (2007) "Genetically controlled MRI contrast mechanisms and their prospects in systems neuroscience research", Magn Reson Imaging 25: 1004-1010

Shapiro, M. G., Atanasijevic, T., Faas, H., Westmeyer, G. G., and Jasanoff, A. (2006) "Dynamic imaging with MRI contrast agents: quantitative considerations", Magn Reson Imaging 24: 449-462