CLOVER: CLARITY, Optogenetics and Vector Engineering Research Center
Viviana Gradinaru, PI
Nicholas Flytzanis, Scientific Director
The BI CLOVER Center’s mission is to facilitate optogenetic studies, custom viral vector development and tissue clearing projects across Caltech through infrastructure and reagent sharing, training, and further technology and methodology development. By providing these services, the BI CLOVER Center is catalyzing high-impact and high-risk research projects by helping researchers test their hypotheses and obtain the preliminary data necessary to secure additional funding for continued technological development or to advance basic science objectives.
The CLOVER Center has three main research aims:
- We are developing improved methods for imaging through thick intact tissue samples at high resolution by rendering them optically transparent and permeable to stains, antibodies and nucleic acid probes.
- Optogenetics uses light sensitive proteins called opsins to modulate and monitor the activity of neurons and other cellular states. We are working to extend the properties of opsins through protein engineering.
- Custom AAV vector development: We are developing custom recombinant adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) for more efficient and targeted gene transfer in vivo.
- The CLOVER center is equipped with a BSL-2 virus production facility and wet labs for molecular cloning, tissue processing and macromolecular staining procedures
- On site use of the CLOVER Center's tissue clearing facilities and technical support
- Collaborative custom vector development
- One-on-one consultations and training for tissue clearing techniques and viral vector production to jump start research projects
- Focused workshops for researchers with various backgrounds and experience levels