The Berndt lab develops fluorescent biosensors for optogenetic approaches by utilizing structure guided and high throughput protein engineering. We aim to detect the activity of neurotransmitter, neuromodulators, hormones, ions and intracellular signaling molecules in life tissue and behaving animals. These sensors will provide multidimensional real time information of the current state of neurons and neuronal networks. Our goal is to identify impaired network dynamics in rodent models for neurological disorders. However, these protein tools are universally applicable and we seek to expand applications into other cell types such as cardiac, pancreatic and stem cells.