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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016 Feb;15(2):97-109. doi: 10.1038/nrd.2015.15. Epub 2015 Nov 27.

Optogenetics enlightens neuroscience drug discovery.

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Division of Brain Sciences, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK.


Optogenetics - the use of light and genetics to manipulate and monitor the activities of defined cell populations - has already had a transformative impact on basic neuroscience research. Now, the conceptual and methodological advances associated with optogenetic approaches are providing fresh momentum to neuroscience drug discovery, particularly in areas that are stalled on the concept of 'fixing the brain chemistry'. Optogenetics is beginning to translate and transit into drug discovery in several key domains, including target discovery, high-throughput screening and novel therapeutic approaches to disease states. Here, we discuss the exciting potential of optogenetic technologies to transform neuroscience drug discovery.

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