Project Description

Assistant Professor
South Lake Union campus, 850 Republican St., Brotman Building

My lab develops biosensors for optogenetics. We aim to detect impaired neuronal function which will provide key knowledge about the underlying causes of neurological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and depression.

Structure guided and automated high throughput protein engineering
In vivo and in vitro fluorescence imaging of life and fixed tissue
Electrophysiology and physiology of neurons and cardiac cells
Neuronal circuit dynamics in mammalian disease models

We are a molecular design lab which develops fluorescent biosensors for detecting biochemical signals in neuronal networks in real time. Our goal is to monitor the activity of neurotransmitter, neuromodulators, hormones, ions and intracellular signaling molecules in live tissue and behaving animals at high spatial and temporal resolution.  These sensors provide accurate, multidimensional information about information processing in neurons and neuronal networks. We aim to use these tools to identify impaired network dynamics in animal models for neurological disorders which will close critical knowledge gaps in our understanding of diseases such as autism and epilepsy.  One big advantage is that these sensors are genetically encoded proteins which means they can be expressed in virtually any cell type by using virus or plasmid DNA. Thus, they are universally applicable and we seek to expand applications into other cell types such as cardiac, pancreatic and stem cells.

Ph.D. Experimental Biophysics, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, 2011
M.S. Experimental & Theoretical Biophysics, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, 2007
B.S. Biophysics, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, 2003

Karl Deisseroth Lab, Bioengineering Department, Stanford University, 2011-2016

Honorable mention for the Sammy Kuo prize, Stanford University, 2014
Selected for Hot-Topics research of the Society for Neuroscience, 2014
Best Ph.D. thesis at the Humboldt University Berlin, 2011
Postdoctoral fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service, 2011
Student fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization, 2010
Student fellowship from the Leibniz Graduate School for Molecular Biophysics, 2007

Berndt A*, Lee SY*, Wietek J*, Ramakrishnan C, Steinberg EE, Rashid AJ, Kim H, Park S, Santoro A, Frankland PW, Iyer S, Pak S, Delp SL, Malenka RC, Josselyn S, Carlen M, Hegemann P, and Deisseroth K: Determinants of channelrhodopsin ion selectivity: structural principles for optogenetics. PNAS (2016)

Tee BC*, Chortos A*, Berndt A*, Nguyen AK, Tom A, McGuire A, Lin ZC, Tien K, Bae WG, Wang H, Mei P, Chou HH, Cui B, Deisseroth K, Ng TN, Bao Z: A skin-inspired organic digital mechanoreceptor. Science (2015)

Berndt A*, Lee SY*, Ramakrishnan C and Deisseroth K: Structure-guided transformation of channelrhodopsin into a light-activated chloride channel. Science (2014)

Zhang F, Vierock J, Yizhar O, Fenno LE, Tsunoda S, Kianianmomeni A, Prigge M, Berndt A, Cushman J, Polle J, Magnuson J, Hegemann P, Deisseroth K: The microbial opsin family of optogenetic tools. Cell (2011)

Gradmann D, Berndt A, Schneider F and Hegemann P: Rectification of the channelrhodopsin early conductance. Biophysical Journal (2011)

Berndt A*, Schoenenberger P*, Mattis J, Tye KM, Deisseroth K, Hegemann P and Oertner TG: High efficiency channelrhodopsins for fast neuronal stimulation at low light levels. PNAS (2011)

Stehfest K, Ritter E, Berndt A, Bartl F and Hegemann P: The branched photocycle of the slow cycling channelrhodopsin-2 mutant C128T. Journal of Molecular Biology (2010)

Berndt A*, Prigge M*, Gradmann D and Hegemann P: Two open states with progressive proton selectivities in the branched channelrhodopsin-2 photocycle. Biophysical Journal (2010)

Gunaydin LA*, Yizhar O*, Berndt A*, Sohal VS, Deisseroth K and Hegemann P: Ultrafast optogenetic control. Nature Neuroscience (2010)

Berndt A*, Yizhar O*, Gunaydin LA*, Hegemann P and Deisseroth K: Bi-stable neural state switches. Nature Neuroscience (2009)

In the News

  • Berndt Yazdan Orsborn Kueh photos

UW Bioengineering: Building Global Excellence in Neuroengineering and Immunoengineering Research

October 26th, 2016|Comments Off on UW Bioengineering: Building Global Excellence in Neuroengineering and Immunoengineering Research