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ECE Colloquium Series – Professor Hye Yoon Park
February 14 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
As part of the *Eleanore Hale Wilson Lecture Series, ECE is proud to present:
Imaging Memory Traces in the Living Brain
Professor Hye Yoon Park
Seoul National University
Host: Professor Sang-Hyun Oh
One of the fundamental questions in neuroscience is to understand the mechanisms underlying memory encoding, consolidation, storage, and retrieval processes. Memories have been hypothesized to be encoded as enduring physical changes in the brain. The hypothetical physical substrate of memory is referred to as ‘memory trace’ or ‘engram’, which was first conceived by Richard Semon more than 100 years ago. However, until now, the nature of memory trace still remains elusive.
In my lab, we use multidisciplinary approaches to understand the dynamics of gene expression and their role in memory formation and consolidation in the living brain. Monitoring the transcription and localization of mRNA allows us to probe where and when the gene is activated and translated into proteins. Using a knock‐in mouse model in which the endogenous Arc mRNA is labeled with GFP, we found that calcium activity was necessary but not sufficient for triggering Arc transcription and that blocking neuronal activity did not affect the dendritic transport of newly synthesized Arc mRNAs. Two‐photon imaging of the live mouse brain revealed the immediate‐early induction of Arc transcription in subpopulation of neurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus after contextual fear conditioning and fear memory retrieval. The technology as demonstrated in our work, including the transgenic strategy and high‐resolution microscopy of living tissue, will shed light on the dynamic regulation of gene expression during learning and memory processes in vivo.
Prof. Hye Yoon Park received her B.S. in Physics from Seoul National University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University. For her M.S. degree, she developed microfabrication processes for polymeric microfluidic devices in Prof. Harold G. Craighead’s group. During her Ph.D. research under the guidance of Prof. Lois Pollack and Prof. Watt W. Webb, she developed a laminar flow mixer for kinetic studies of protein and RNA folding on a microsecond time scale. She performed postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Robert H. Singer at Albert Einstein College of Medicine as an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Postdoctoral fellow. During the postdoctoral training, she generated new mouse models for single RNA imaging in live cells and tissues. Prof. Park established her independent laboratory at Seoul National University in 2014. She received the Howard Hughes Medical Institute‐Wellcome Trust International Research Scholar Award in 2017.
*Established in 2009, the Eleanore Hale Wilson Fund supports engineering field leaders for travel to Minnesota to share their expertise and discoveries with University of Minnesota graduate students, faculty, and alumni. The fund also supports the receptions held in honor of each speaker.