The ETN “switchBoard” comprises fifteen individual, collaborative ESR projects, organized in three Work Packages (WPs 1-3):
- WP1 (Circuit & Function) plays a central, integrative role and experimentally studies the functional role of bipolar cells in retinal signal processing. The two other WPs complement WP1 by offering the students a broader view:
- WP2 (Degeneration & Remodelling) uses mouse models for human degenerative diseases to study the degeneration-induced remodelling of retinal circuits. This is particularly relevant with respect to bipolar cells, because they represent a key target for current interventional approaches using electrical implants or optogenetics.
- WP3 (Models & Technology) provides a theoretical and technological perspective: it includes projects that aim to build computational BC models – eventually integrating data generated by experimental projects of switchBoard – but also collaboration projects with the private sector, with the focus on developing new techniques (“electrical imaging”, MCS, Germany; “crafting” light, EKB, Israel) and on integrating neural signal processing principles into artificial vision sensors (“silicon retina”, iniLabs, Switzerland).