Edvard Moser, Weijian Zong and May-Britt Moser, all holding the Mini2P mini microscope. Photo: The Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Mini2P microscope goes global

The Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience has won a grant to share its groundbreaking miniature brain microscope with researchers across the globe.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, established by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, has awarded a grant of between NOK 5-6 million to NTNU’s Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience.

The money is to support development and sharing of the institute’s mini microscope, the Mini2P, which can be used to record brain activity in live, freely moving mice.

The Mini2P on top of Leif Erikson the mouse. Photo: Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Mini2P on top of the mouse Leif Erikson. Photo: Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Can look into the living brain

“We think Mini2P is a game changer and it is fantastic that we have been given support to share this knowledge and technology with the rest of the research community. Mini2P makes it possible for researchers to look into the living brain and study how thousands of nerve cells interact and shape the sense of place and memory, among other things,”  Edvard Moser said.

Professors and Nobel Laureates Edvard Moser and May Britt Moser are the founding directors of the Kavli Institute and are currently the institute’s scientific directors.

“As we have understood it — once we have our foot in the door, they will follow us further and possibly support us more later. So this is a fantastic way to get funds. And perhaps Chan and Zuckerberg can be models for others who want to provide funding for research,” May-Britt Moser said to NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

Imaging breakthroughs a focus

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was established in 2015 to “help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities,” according to the foundation’s website.  One of the foundation’s focus areas is in imaging.

“Advancing imaging technology to help expand the boundaries of what we can see and measure is critical to our mission to cure, prevent or manage all disease by the end of this century. We’re excited to support the work of Edvard Moser at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and his global team of researchers as they develop and share new imaging technologies that will deepen our understanding of health and disease,” Dr. Priscilla Chan, Co-founder and Co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative wrote in an email to the institute.

The Kavli Institute will use the funds to work on developing use of the Mini2P with researchers and labs across the globe. These are:

Here’s a video that describes the microscope in more detail: