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Announcing the Winners of the 2021 Michael Davidson and Roger Tsien Commemorative Conference Awards

Abhi Aggarwal: Glutamate sensing reporters

Abhi Aggarwal and Kaspar Podgorski
Abhi Aggarwal and Kaspar Podgorski

Abhi Aggarwal and Kaspar Podgorski

Abhi Aggarwal is a postbaccalaureate research technician in Kaspar Podgorski’s lab at Janelia Research Campus, HHMI where he works on developing and optimizing biosensors in the lab. He has recently developed a third-generation intensiometric glutamate sensing fluorescent reporter (iGluSnFR3) to study glutamate, a signaling molecule in the brain. “We hope that iGluSnFR3 will enable significant steps forward in our understanding of synaptic and circuit functions in health and disease,” says Aggarwal.

This biosensor changes fluorescence based on the release of glutamate from neurons and this new version of the biosensor is faster and more sensitive than its predecessors. Currently, Aggarwal, and colleagues Filip Tomaska and Tim Hanson, are characterizing variants of iGluSnFR3 in vivo and have used it to detect glutamate release from hundreds of synapses at once. “This work has only been made possible due to the collaborative and highly interactive environment that Janelia offers,” says Aggarwal.

In addition to the biosensors, Aggarwal and colleagues are working on developing new surface display vectors to improve expression and trafficking of these biosensors.

Read more about the award here:

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