Neuroscience News
Faculty Spotlight
Photo Credit: Sean Karlin UCSF
Diagnosing the Undiagnosable
with Next-Gen Sequencing
Over the last decade, genetic sequencing advances have exceeded Moore’s Law, and a biological revolution is underway that parallels the technological revolution that followed the explosion of cheap computing power. Innovation Ventures interviewed Dr. Joe DeRisi and Dr. Michael Wilson, who are taking advantage of the ever-decreasing costs of ultra-deep sequencing to uncover disease etiologies in previously undiagnosable neurological conditions.
Upcoming Conferences
Meet UCSF at Annual SfN Meeting
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) annual meeting kicks off in just a few days in Chicago, IL and a number of our UCSF faculty members will be in attendance. We invite you to meet with our faculty during SfN -- Click below to see a collated a list of UCSF symposiums that will be presented there. If you need any assistance connecting with UCSF faculty at this event, please contact Cammie Edwards, UCSF Strategic Alliances at
UCSF Press
Photo Credit: Steve Babuljak
After 10-Year Search Scientists Find Second ‘Short Sleep’ Gene 
After a decade of searching, the UC San Francisco scientists who identified the only human gene known to promote “natural short sleep” – lifelong, nightly sleep that lasts just four to six hours yet leaves individuals feeling fully rested – have discovered a second.
Photo Credit: K eith Johnston
Simple Blood Test Unmasks Concussions Absent on CT Scans
A new blood test is currently under development to flag concussion patients with normal CT scans – patients who otherwise would be discharged from the hospital without follow-up – enabling them to be evaluated for long-term complications.
Photo Credit: Noah Berger UCSF
Artificial Protein Ushers in New Era of ‘Smart’ Cell Therapies 
A team of bioengineers at UCSF and the University of Washington have devised “smart” cells that behave like tiny autonomous robots which, in the future, may be used to detect damage and disease, and deliver therapy at just the right time and in just the right amount.

Photo Credit: Grinberg lab / UCSF
Alzheimer’s Disease Destroys Neurons that Keep Us Awake
A new study suggests Tau tangles and not Amyloid Plaques, could be driving the daytime napping that often precedes dementia. 
Photo Credit: Alvin Gogineni, Genentech
Faulty Molecular Recycling Identified as Potential Driver of Alzheimer’s Disease 
New research bolsters the idea that insufficient recycling of molecules inside neurons may underlie neurodegenerative diseases.
Featured Publications
UCSF Senior Author: Martin Kampmann
CRISPR Interference-Based Platform for Multimodal Genetic Screens in Human iPSC-Derived Neurons.
UCSF Senior Author: David Julius 
A Cell-Penetrating Scorpion Toxin Enables Mode-Specific Modulation of TRPA1 and Pain.

UCSF Senior Author: Edward Chang
Real-time decoding of question-and-answer speech dialogue using human cortical activity. 
UCSF Senior Author: Arnold Kriegstein.
Neuronal vulnerability and multi-lineage diversity in multiple sclerosis.
Faculty Honors and Awards
Photo Credit: Steve Babuljak, UCSF
David Julius – 2020 Breakthrough Award 
From Spider Venom to Chili Peppers, Julius Explores All Avenues to
Understand the Neuroscience of Pain.
Two UCSF scientists named Howard Hughes
Medical Institute Hanna Gray Fellows 
Dr. Jess Sheu-Gruttadauria
Studying the relationship between unconfined organelles – cellular structures that lack the usual confining membranes – and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Christopher Bartley
Seeking to understand the way that antibodies produced by the human immune system sometimes target the brain and trigger psychiatric symptoms.
Photo Credit: Peter Barreras/HHMI
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