Course Date: March 15 – 20, 2014
Director: Mark J. West, University of Aarhus, Denmark
The goal of the NeuroStereology Workshop is to teach a small group of research scientists how to design, supervise, and critically evaluate stereological studies of the nervous system. Stereology is a methodology that provides meaningful quantitative descriptions of the geometry of three-dimensional structures from measurements that are made on two-dimensional images sampled from a structure of interest. The workshop will emphasize modern “design-based” stereology, which is characterized by the preparation and probing of tissue in such a manner that no assumptions about the size, shape, and orientation of the structures being quantified are necessary.
Unlike previously available methods, these newer methods produce accurate and robust estimates of total quantities, such as number, length, area, and volume. Because of the enhanced power of the data obtained with these methods, they have recently made important contributions to our understanding of the changes in the structure of the brain related to aging and disease and are rapidly becoming the standards required by journals and granting agencies.
The mathematical basis and practical application of these methods will be presented through a series of lectures, practical exercises, demonstrations, and critical evaluations of individual projects. Particular emphasis will be placed on design based, stereological methods that have particular relevance to the study of the nervous system, such as estimates of: (1) the numbers of neurons and synapses, the length of axons and capillaries, and the volumes of brain regions, layers; (2) the volumes and spatial arrangement of individual cells and pathological entities.
The target audience is neuroscience researchers, including graduate students, postdocs, and senior scientists who are interested in the practical application of design-based stereological methods. The number of participants will be limited to 30 to ensure robust faculty-student interaction.
Course Faculty & Lecturers:
Mark West, Ph.D., Dr. Med.Sci, University of Aarhus
Lutz Slomianka, Ph.D., University of Zurich
Juan Troncoso, M.D., Johns Hopkins University