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Eirini Papagiakoumou

Sculpting light for neuronal activation

Dr. Eirini Papagiakoumou has long been interested in manipulating light and exploiting its properties to suggest novel optical microscopy methods. She started at the Lasers and Applications Group of Dr. Makropoulou Mersine at the National Technical University of Athens. There, she obtained her PhD by working with laser tweezers for optical trapping, as well as optical fibers and hollow waveguides to guide laser radiation for biomedical applications. In addition, she worked as a fellow with the Optical Trapping Group of Dr. Kishan Dholakia at the University of St. Andrews.

She then moved to Paris to work on developing novel optical methods for neuronal activation under the group of Dr. Valentina Emiliani.

Now, Dr. Papagiakoumou is a researcher at the Wavefront Engineering Microscopy group at the Vision Institute in Paris. There, they pioneered the use of light-shaping techniques, like computer-generated holography and generalized phase contrast with temporal focusing, for neuronal investigation at single-cell spatial resolution and sub-millisecond temporal precision. They have also contributed to the establishment of two-photon optogenetics by characterizing issues like the temperature rise in the tissue during such experiments, and the two-photon excitation spectra of some opsins. The group’s activity continues in this direction, to try to provide the scientific community efficient and reliable tools for solving the brain puzzle.

For this talk, Dr. Papagiakoumou will present the latest developments of their laboratory in expanding the light-shaping methods in three dimensions by maintaining the superior spatial resolution. She will also present the application of such methods towards in depth all-optical studies in vivo.