Janelia Research Campus

Janelia Research Campus

Janelia is a pioneering research center where scientists from many disciplines gather to collaborate on some of science's most challenging problems.

Janelia scientists are working on discovering the basic rules and mechanisms of the brain's information-processing system and developing optical, biological, and computational technologies for creating and interpreting biological images.

Janelia's overall objective is to pursue fundamental problems in basic biomedical research that are difficult to approach in academia and industry, because: * They require expertise from disparate areas. * They are too long-term for standard funding mechanisms. * They are outside the current priorities of other funding agencies.


Female Flies Respond to Sensation of Sex, Not Just Sperm | Janelia Research Campus

A new study from Ulrike Heberlein and Lisha Shao IDs neurons in female fruit flies that respond to the feeling of sex by shutting down future mating attempts. It’s a way that female flies may determine they’ve successfully mated, well before their body detects sperm. https://www.janelia.org/news/female-flies-respond-to-sensation-of-sex-not-just-sperm



New 2019 Academy Members Announced

Congratulations to Sr. Group Leader Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz on her election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences!

amacad.org More than 200 individuals with compelling achievements in academia, business, government, and public affairs were elected to the Academy in 2019.

Janelia enjoyed a visit from some very good dogs from @heelinghouse this week! Thanks to JARS for the inaugural “Pause to Pet” event.
@ Janelia Research Campus

A cloudy day on campus. Photo credit: Anna J. Chang


Janelia scientists come from diverse backgrounds—We have biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists who work together to solve biological problems. Who is eligible for the opportunity to lead a new research area at Janelia? Zari Zavala-Ruiz has the details. https://www.janelia.org/our-research/competition/opportunity


Animal Development Comes into Focus with New Imaging Technology | Janelia Research Campus

By inventing technology to peer into early vertebrate development, Philipp Keller and his team are helping to solve one of biology’s most intriguing problems – how a single cell grows into an animal capable of complex tasks. Read more about what’s possible at Janelia.

janelia.org Janelia Group Leader Philipp Keller's laboratory has a knack for finding ways to make the invisible visible. By inventing technology to peer into early vertebrate development, Keller and his team are helping to solve one of biology's most intriguing problems - how a single cell grows into an animal ...


Artificial Intelligence Gives Researchers New Insights Into the Brain | Janelia Research Campus

Researchers in the Branson lab used a program called JAABA to develop an interactive, cellular-level map of which neurons in the fruit fly brain lead to certain behaviors. Over 18 months, the team studied 400,000 fruit flies performing social behaviors and movements like walking, stopping, aggressive chasing, and the courtship behavior of wing opening. It would have taken humans around 3,800 years to analyze that video data.

janelia.org Research Scientist Alice Robie, a neuroscientist working in a Janelia Research Campus computer science lab, has a unique opportunity to help other biologists extract meaning from their large datasets. "Making usable tools is a much more difficult engineering problem than simply writing an algorithm,...


We’re asking applicants who submit proposals to our new research area competition to describe their leadership and mentoring philosophies. Senior Group Leader Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz explains why that’s an important part of the application. https://www.janelia.org/our-research/competition/opportunity


Q&A: Ron Vale, new chief of Janelia Research Campus, on why 15 years is a good research time frame

A Q&A with Ron Vale on his upcoming new job as the next director of Janelia and what he's looking forward to.

"I'm greatly interested in science culture and that’s one of the reasons I was very attracted."

sciencemag.org Cell biologist takes helm of Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s research center early next year


Ron Vale Named Next Executive Director of Janelia Research Campus and HHMI Vice President | Janelia Research Campus

Janelia will welcome HHMI Investigator Ron Vale to campus as our next executive director in early 2020. https://www.janelia.org/news/ron-vale-named-next-executive-director-of-janelia-research-campus-and-hhmi-vice-president

janelia.org Vale, an HHMI investigator at the University of California, San Francisco, will serve as the second executive director of the Ashburn, Virginia-based biomedical research center.


“We've made tremendous strides in systems neuroscience, understanding the relationship between neural circuits and behavior, and we're going to keep doing that at Janelia, but we want to leverage the model that we've put in place here to make discoveries in other areas as well.” –Nelson Spruston on the Janelia new research area competition and why Janelia is an effective place to do science. https://www.janelia.org/our-research/competition/opportunity


We love working with our ECHO colleagues.

Thanks to Shannon Ryan and WDVM for the sweet community piece on ECHO and Janelia Research Campus! View the video: https://www.localdvm.com/news/echo-feature_20190212005609/1774202787


Looking back and looking forward at Janelia

HHMI President Erin O’Shea and Janelia Executive Director Gerry Rubin reflect on Janelia’s past and future. https://elifesciences.org/articles/44826

elifesciences.org Starting a new research campus is a leap of faith. Only later, in the full measure of time, is it possible to take stock of what has worked and what could have been done better or differently. The Janelia Research Campus opened its doors 12 years ago. What has it achieved? What has it taught us? And...


If the dots in the video look like they’re flowing in opposite directions, you’re experiencing the “reverse phi” illusion. In “phi” motion, bright points appear to move right as they disappear and reappear to the right of their previous position. But when the points switch from bright to dark as they shift rightward, our brains see them “moving” to the left: this is “reverse phi.” Now, Janelia scientist James Fitzgerald, Yale University’s Damon Clark, and their colleagues have uncovered how visual neurons in fruit flies process this illusion.

Two parallel pathways in the brain respond to either light or dark moving edges. The reverse-phi effect, like many real-world visual scenes, involves both light and dark stimuli. If the pathways segregate light from dark, the researchers asked, where in the flies’ visual system do these interacting signals combine to create a sense of motion?

Neurons called T4 and T5 cells react selectively to either light or dark moving edges. Scientists had thought that each of these cell types could respond only to light or dark stimuli. But the new results reveal that both cell types actually process a mix of light and dark signals, the team reported December 3, 2018, in the journal, Current Biology. By tracing the source of the motion illusion to the very earliest motion-detecting neurons in the fly’s visual system, the researchers showed that this light-dark mixing is a fundamental feature of the visual processing pathway. https://www.janelia.org/news/tracing-the-origins-of-an-optical-illusion


How to Rapidly Image Entire Brains at Nanoscale Resolution | Janelia Research Campus

Eric Betzig and his Janelia colleagues teamed up with Ed Boyden’s group to image the entire fruit fly brain and sections of mouse brain the thickness of the cortex.

janelia.org A powerful new technique combines expansion microscopy with lattice light-sheet microscopy for nanoscale imaging of fly and mouse neuronal circuits and their molecular constituents that’s roughly 1,000 times faster than other methods.


Robert Hazen to Deliver Public Lecture at Janelia | Janelia Research Campus

Earth’s 4.5 billion year history is a complex tale of physical and chemical processes, as well as "frozen accidents." In the next lecture in our #DialoguesofDiscovery public lecture series, Robert Hazen will discuss how Earth’s changing mineralogy reflects the co-evolving geosphere and biosphere in surprising ways that touch on life's origins. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

www.janelia.org Dr. Robert M. Hazen will deliver the next Dialogues of Discovery lecture at Janelia. Hazen’s talk, “Chance, Necessity, and the Origins of Life,” is on Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. All Dialogues of Discovery lectures are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for admission. Ge...


Undergraduate Scholars Program | Janelia Research Campus

Join an intense and exciting research environment this summer. Janelia is accepting applications for the Janelia Undergraduate Scholars Program from undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students who have not committed to a PhD program. Apply by January 8, 2019.

janelia.org The Janelia Undergraduate Scholars program is a 10-week summer program aimed at well-prepared, independent, and committed students with significant research experience. We accept undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students who have not committed to a PhD program. Janelia undergraduate scholars ar...


Decoding How Brain Circuits Control Behavior | Janelia Research Campus

By pulling together anatomical data from Janelia's MouseLight Project, gene expression profiles from the Allen Institute, and functional data from the lab of Janelia Senior Group Leader Karel Svoboda, an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team of scientists brought clarity to a complex question about brain function.

janelia.org Janelia and Allen Institute scientists team up, combining genetic analyses, anatomical maps, and detailed studies of neuronal activity to reveal brain cells’ roles in controlling movement.


Neuropixels Technology Ready for Release | Janelia Research Campus

#Neuropixels offer the most precise understanding yet of how large networks of nerve cells coordinate to give rise to behavior and cognition, and they’re now available for purchase.

janelia.org A transformative technology for detecting and recording neural activity in the brain is now available for researchers to purchase through imec, a leading nanoelectronics research center in Belgium.

Researchers in the Karpova and Dudman labs have developed a new molecular engineering technique that could double the number of proteins available for optogenetics. https://www.janelia.org/news/expanding-the-optogenetics-toolkit

New Microscope Offers 4-D Look at Embryonic Development in Living Mice

How do you go from a single cell to an embryo? A team of scientists from the Keller lab here at Janelia are giving researchers the first view of early organ development inside a live mouse embryo. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2CcewzE


New Microscope Offers 4-D Look at Embryonic Development in Living Mice | Janelia Research Campus

Philipp Keller and team have designed a microscope that can adapt to a constantly changing mouse embryo, making decisions in milliseconds, over hundreds of images, at hundreds of different time points.

janelia.org With the development of an adaptive, multi-view light sheet microscope and a suite of computational tools, researchers have captured the first view of early organ development inside the mouse embryo.

Janelia New Research Area Competition

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is hosting a competition to decide the next research area at Janelia. Do you have a big idea that could move science forward? www.janelia.org/new-research-area

Tim, a chef at Bob’s, our campus pub, showing off some of the dishes on their new menu. #dinner #foodpic #eat #tasty #hungry #yum #nomnom #yummy #tastethisnext #foodlover @ Janelia Research Campus

Top researchers from around the world come to Janelia each year for our conferences and workshops. Want to join them? Apply now for spring 2019 meetings. There are no registration fees, meals and hotel rooms are fully covered, and travel scholarships are available!

Registration deadlines vary by meeting: https://www.janelia.org/you-janelia/conferences/spring-2019


Ashburn, Virginia Is No. 2 on MONEY's Best Places to Live list

Our beautiful campus is located in Ashburn, Virginia, one of MONEY's best places to live in America.

time.com See why Ashburn, Virginia is one of the best places to live in the U.S.

This week Janelia hosted first year graduate students from the Johns Hopkins University Department of Neuroscience for a data analysis boot camp. The students spent two and a half intensive days getting hands on experience learning to analyze electrophysiology and functional imaging data using MATLAB. Some of these students are interested in rotating in Janelia labs and then either collaborating with or even joining Janelia labs to conduct their research as part of the joint graduate program. Learn more: https://www.janelia.org/you-janelia/students-postdocs/joint-graduate-program


Elaine Ostrander to Deliver Public Lecture at Janelia | Janelia Research Campus

Elaine Ostrander from NIH will be the next speaker in our free public lecture series at Janelia. Get tickets now for her talk, “How to Build A Dog In 2,392,715,236 Simple Steps."

janelia.org Dr. Elaine Ostrander from the National Institutes of Health will be our next speaker in the Dialogues of Discovery lecture series at Janelia. In her talk, “How to Build A Dog In 2,392,715,236 Simple Steps,” Ostrander will explain how scientists have built an unprecedented dataset of dog breeds a...

This week our Janelia Undergraduate Scholars presented their work to the Janelia community at a poster session. For many of the scholars, this was their first experience formally presenting their research. Congratulations to all of our scholars on a fantastic summer! @ Janelia Research Campus


Digging into Data: Q&A with Kristin Branson | Janelia Research Campus

In this Q&A, Kristin Branson – senior group leader and head of the new Computation and Theory research group here at Janelia – explains why computational algorithms, models, and theories are important complements to biological research and shares how we're using them to drive science forward.

janelia.org As the volume and pace of data collection increase, computation and theory are becoming increasingly vital to biology. How do these research approaches drive science forward at the Janelia Research Campus? Janelia Senior Group Leader Kristin Branson heads a new core research focus on Computation and...


In startled fruit flies, hints of how our brain circuits work — and fail

Watch: Meet Janelia's "fruit fly liberator" Gwyneth Card in this feature from STAT

statnews.com By seeing how fruit flies manage an existential threat, one researcher thinks that could offer clues on how the human brain manages a real one.

Thanks to Inova Loudoun Hospital for the great opportunity to support the littlest patients.

A big thank you to our friends at Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus for their awesome (and adorable!) donation of custom-made stuffed animals for our Pediatric unit!

Our facility dog, Jeremiah, can’t wait to deliver these cuddly companions to our youngest patients. Thanks to Janelia and to all of our neighbors who help us take care of our community!

#neighborshelpingneighbors #thankfulthursday


Tools of the Trade: Q&A with Luke Lavis | Janelia Research Campus

Tool-building has always been a core part of the research here at Janelia. Senior Group Leader Luke Lavis explains why it’s so important and how the new Molecular Tools and Imaging group will emphasize and further develop this type of science.

"Making tool-building equivalent in significance and scale to our biological programs is unique in the scientific landscape." - Luke Lavis.

janelia.org Tool-building has always been an essential part of scientific progress and a core part of the research at Janelia Research Campus. With the recent changes in its focus areas, how is Janelia staying committed to tool-building?

Attention doctoral students! We are now accepting applications for our Graduate Research Fellowship program. The fellowship program is a fully-funded, collaborative PhD program for independent, committed graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program in the United States or abroad. Students will conduct research at Janelia for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years and will work with one or more research mentors at Janelia who will provide scientific and career guidance. Deadline: July 18, 2018 http://bit.ly/2K9HUqD

Congratulations to the Janelia team "Tick Attacks a Doe" for participating in the 8th Annual Loudoun Lyme 5k benefiting the National Capital Lyme Disease Association. #FinishLyme

shrimplike_crustacean from release

This stunning video of the developing embryo of a crustacean is the result of work by Janelia’s Anastasios Pavlopoulos and colleagues who harnessed the power of a multi-view light-sheet microscope to trace and study cells of the animal’s growing limbs. The study subject, Parhyale hawaiensis, is a shrimp-like marine crustacean that develops a remarkable suite of specialized limbs along its body.
Credit: C. Wolff et al./eLife 2018 doi: 10.7554/eLife.34410

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Videos (show all)

New Microscope Offers 4-D Look at Embryonic Development in Living Mice
Janelia New Research Area Competition
shrimplike_crustacean from release
MouseLight Demonstration
Behavior Anatomy Mapping
Feature Detection in Drosophilia
The 9th Annual SEA-PHAGES Symposium
Compass Movement



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