Scientific automation with a focus area in in-vivo patch clamping. Other interests include mechatronics, design, and computer modeling of thermal, electrical, mechanical, kinematic, and dynamic systems.
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering 2009 from Brigham Young University.
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering 2011 from Brigham Young University.
Former employee of L-3 Communications and the Idaho National Laboratory.
Patch clamping is the gold standard technique for recording the electrical activity of single neurons. However, it is considered an art form by its practitioners and requires years of training and limitless patience. Recently, our group published the first piece of automated patch clamping which automatically detects neurons in live brain tissue and initiates the recordings. My contributions include developing the automation hardware and software for the automatic electronic, pneumatic, and positional control of the recording pipette. The extension of this work involves automating the changing of the recording pipettes between recordings or recording attempts. This eliminates the final physical interaction the user has during the experiment. It also includes algorithms that automatically perform the recording and provide the experimental stimulus into the brain. In the end, this will completely automate serial patch clamp recordings in-vivo and continue the transformation of neural recordings in-vivo from a physical science into an purely informatic one.