FY2017 Annual Report

Neuronal Rhythms in Movement unit
Assistant Professor Marylka Yoe Uusisaari


FY2017 was the first full year of operations for the Neuronal Rhythms in Movement unit (nRIM). During this year, the research equipment was designed, acquired, built and brought into operating state.  In the initial phase, the laboratory infrastructure was built with the help of several visiting students and technical persons. Later, 3 post docs and a technician were hired, and an additional JSPS fellow joined the group in Dec. 2017. By end of FY2017, three main experimental systems were operational and producing preliminary data. 

1. Staff

  • Dr. Alex Tang, post-doctoral researcher
  • Dr. Alex Kuck, post-doctoral researcher
  • Dr. Da Guo, post-doctoral researcher
  • Dr. Bogna Ignatowska-Jankowska, JSPS fellow
  • Dr. Aysen Gurkan Ozer, Technical Staff
  • Mr. Darren Clarke, Visiting Student
  • Ms. Nora Vrieler, Visiting Student
  • Mr. Hugo Hoedemaker, Visiting Technician
  • Ms. Saeko Hedo, Administrative Assistant

2. Collaborations

Nothing to report

3. Activities and Findings

3.1 Laboratory build-up

Most of nRIM efforts in FY2017 revolved around acquiring and installing research equipment, and establishing experimental protocols and methods for upcoming experiments.

By end of March 2018, the 4 different experimental systems were installed and operational, with relevant animal ethic and safety-related permissions in place. 

  • In vitro electrophysiology & imaging system
  • Stereotactic viral surgery & anesthetised recording
  • 3D motion capture & whole-field imaging
  • Confocal microscopy Zeiss 880 Airyscan 

Figure 1: Dr. Aysen Gurkan Ozer adjusting surgical equipment.

Figure 2: Dr. Alex Tang setting up slice electrophysiology system


Figure 3: Lively discussion during nRIM mini-symposium, March 2017.

4. Publications

4.1 Journals

Nothing to report

4.2 Books and other one-time publications

Nothing to report

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations

  1. Uusisaari, M.Y.  From Morphology to network activity: dendritic clustering and oscillatory behavior in inferior olive neurons. Japanese Neuroscience Society meeting 2017, Chiba, Japan, July 20-23 (2017).
  2. Uusisaari, M.Y.  Dendritic architecture and dynamic activity clustering in the inferior olive. Gordon Research Conference on Cerebellum, Lewinston, USA, July 30 - August 4 (2017).
  3. Tang, A., Uusisaari, M.Y. Axonal spike bursting in inferior olive cells is oscillation state-dependent. Australian Neuroscience Society meeting, Sydney, Australia, December 3 - 6 (2017).

5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements

Nothing to report

6. Meetings and Events

6.1 "Blind spots in neuroscience" - discussion session & seminars

In March 2018, nRIM organized a nano-meeting including several invited speakers and a 2-hour moderated discussion session for OIST faculty, researchers and students

  • Date: March 2-3, 2018
  • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
  • Speakers:
    • Dr. Yosef Yarom (HUJI, Israel)
    • Dr. Kaylene Young (U. Tasmania, Australia)
    • Dr. Ben Torben-Nielsen (Neurolinx institute, USA)
    • Dr. Michiel Ten Brinke (Erasmus MC, The Netherlands)

6.2 Technical seminar - Precision patch-clamp experimenting

  • Date: October 19, 2017
  • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
  • Speakers:
    • Dr. Adair Oesterle (Sutter Instruments)
    • Dr. Jan Dolzer (Sutter Instruments)

7. Other

Joint Cerebellar Journal Club

In FY 2017, the nRIM unit commenced a joint journal club with the Computational Neuroscience Unit, with the specific focus on cerebellar research papers. By March 2017 the JCJC met 6 times, with presentations alternating beteween the two laboratories.