Visit us at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego


SfN 2013 is the culmination of an exciting year at MBF. We have been busy developing new tools that will help researchers gather data quicker and easier, and we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the computer microscope invented by MBF founder Dr. Edmund Glaser and his colleague Dr. Hendrick Van der Loos. Visit us at booth #2735 to see the latest advancements in neuron tracing, brain mapping, stereology, and big image data management.

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Drug for Treating Asthma Improves Cognitive Function in Down Syndrome Mouse Model

Down Syndrome Chromosome 21 image

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by all or part of an extra copy of chromosome 21. Image from

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that formoterol ̶  an FDA-approved drug for treating asthma and similar respiratory disorders ̶  improves cognitive function in mice genetically altered to exhibit symptoms of Down syndrome including cognitive disability.

Formoterol was chosen for the study because it activates β2 adrenergic receptors (β2ARs) on neurons, a task also carried out by norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter with a critical role in contextual learning. β2AR receptors play a key role in learning and memory, and are prevalent on dentate granule cells (DGCs) in the hippocampus. To limit the effects of the drug to the CNS, the authors used a βAR antagonist with no ability to cross the blood brain barrier.

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Take a look at the latest research using MBF systems (week of 6/3/13)


Our systems were mentioned in 15 published research papers last week. Take a closer look at some of the research…


  • Adler, W. T., Platt, M. P., Mehlhorn, A. J., Haight, J. L., Currier, T. A., Etchegaray, M. A., . . . Rosen, G. D. (2013). Position of Neocortical Neurons Transfected at Different Gestational Ages with shRNA Targeted against Candidate Dyslexia Susceptibility Genes. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e65179. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065179.
  • Guilloux, J.-P., David, I., Pehrson, A., Guiard, B. P., Repérant, C., Orvoën, S., . . . David, D. J. (2013). Antidepressant and anxiolytic potential of the multimodal antidepressant vortioxetine (Lu AA21004) assessed by behavioural and neurogenesis outcomes in mice. Neuropharmacology(0). doi:
  • Knott, G. W. (2013). Imaging Green Fluorescent Protein-Labeled Neurons Using Light and Electron Microscopy. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 2013(6), pdb.prot075127. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot075127.
  • Maroun, M., Ioannides, P. J., Bergman, K. L., Kavushansky, A., Holmes, A., & Wellman, C. L. (2013). Fear extinction deficits following acute stress associate with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala neurons. European Journal of Neuroscience, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12259.

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Meet the Team: Amri Karim, Ph.D.


Who: Amri Karim, Ph.D.

Position: Staff Scientist/Imaging Specialist

How long have you been working at MBF Bioscience? 6.5 years

Where are you located? I’m based in Malaysia, but I travel to the Vermont office three or four times a year.

What is your research area of interest? Image processing, neuron morphometrics, 3D visualization, and automated quantification.

What does your job entail? I work on enhancing MBF Bioscience products with the latest technological advancements in image processing and 3D visualization. Primarily, I develop algorithms that enhance the image processing and the 3D visualization capabilities in AutoNeuron, AutoSpine, Neurolucida, and Stereo Investigator.

Can you tell us what you’re working on right now? Currently I’m working on algorithms for AutoNeuron and AutoSpine.

How do you spend your free time? Working out, fixing things, listening to music, playing music, playing tennis, and reading about the latest electronic gadgets and technologies on my phone.

Tell us about the last vacation you took. My wife and I enjoyed a terrific week at the Mabul and Sipadan Islands in Malaysia in 2009 (see the photo). Since then we’ve taken a few mini-vacations and weekend getaways. Last month we spent two days in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. The region is one of the few places in Malaysia where the temperature is close to spring time in Vermont. We had fresh strawberry salads at the strawberry farm and nice masala tea at the tea plantation.  It is nice and cool up there, with temperatures between 54-77°F.

Congratulations to Timothy Collier, PhD., Recipient of the Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair

We’d like to extend our congratulations to one of our customers, Dr. Timothy Collier, recipient of the 2012 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair. Presented each year by the American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair, the award is given to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions in the field of neural therapy and repair, and we agree, Dr. Collier is certainly worthy of this recognition.

A professor of translational science and molecular medicine at Michigan State University and director of the Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research at Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Collier has devoted his career to researching the neurobiology of aging. He has studied the role of dopamine in neuron biology as applied to aging, Parkinson’s disease, and experimental therapeutics, and was part of a team that first examined cell transplantation in nonhuman primate models of Parkinson’s disease.

“Professor Collier has been a leader in the field of cellular repair for Parkinson’s disease for over 25 years and consistently has brought new ideas forward on how to stimulate growth and survival of neurons that are crucial for maintenance of proper brain function,” said John Sladek, PhD, director for Outreach and Development, Center for Neuroscience, and professor of Neurology, Pediatrics and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “As director of the highly coveted Morris Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research he is in an ideal position to make breakthroughs that will accelerate the transfer of new research into the clinics. As his postdoctoral mentor, I couldn’t be prouder of his accomplishments and look forward to his next important discovery.” (ASNTR Press release, 5.29.2012)

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Announcing WormLab, Advanced Software for Tracking and Analyzing C. elegans

There’s a groundbreaking new tool in town. It’s called WormLab and it’s going to revolutionize the way scientists analyze the behavior of C. elegans – tiny worms used as model organisms in research studies.

WormLab helps scientists analyze the locomotion and behavior of C. elegans by providing precise information and analyses about their speed, direction, position, and wavelength. The software can track multiple worms as they interact and become entangled, giving scientists more data than what they would find in other software options.

“WormLab provides a user independent way to objectively measure phenotypes. This is a significant advance for quantitative phenotyping packaged in a user friendly platform,” said University of Washington Research Biologist Dr. Brian Kraemer.

Learn more about WormLab by:

  • Contacting our team for a free trial or demonstration at

…And keep checking back for an announcement about an upcoming webinar on WormLab.