NeuroNex: Bioluminescence Hub

Type: Molecular / Cellular,

Keywords: Molecular tool, Bioluminescent tool, Brain science, Imaging

Novel bioluminescent molecular tools for controlling cells and tracking activity

We are building a suite of bioluminescent molecular tools for controlling cells and tracking activity, as well as hardware (most notably, microscopes) to optimize their use. The NeuroNex Bioluminescence hub systematically develops and disseminates these novel and powerful tools for brain science.

* We are developing research resources enabling bioluminescence use for brain imaging and control.
* Key tools will be molecular constructs, viral vectors, imaging instrumentation, and experimental protocols for applying these resources in behaving experimental animals.
* New advances include discovery of novel molecules, brightness and speed amplification, developing novel strategies for conferring calcium sensitivity to bright and fast luciferases, and presynaptic targeting of luciferases.

* Bioluminescence for optimal brain control and imaging.

* Mice (LMO3 mouse:

* The same molecular construct can be activated chemogentically (by adding a small molecule luciferin) or optogenetically (by introducing light from an external source). Please see:
* Imaging with bioluminescence has an improved signal-to-noise ratio over fluorescence imaging because scattering, autofluorescence, and bleaching artifacts are removed.

* Neuropixels use unique acquisition hardware and are not compatible with other recording systems.
* Other electrophysiology system vendors may adapt their systems to use Neuropixels probes.
* So far, only SpikeGadets is known to have made this adaptation.
* SpikeGLX software runs under Windows only.

BL Hub Workshops:
Symposium in Next Generation Technologies for Neuroscience (2018):
NeuroNex News:


Christopher Moore, Professor


Brown University



NeuroNex BL Hub team:



NSF 1707352
NSF CBET-1464686
NIH U01NS099709
NIH R21 MH101525
NIH R21 EY026427
Keck Foundation Award: Bioluminescent Optogenetics to Autoregulate Excitable Cells