Available Technologies

    Innovation Sphere



Project TitleTrans-Neuronal Tag for Mapping and Modulating Neural Circuits
Track Code2016-194
Short DescriptionNone
TagsAdeno-associative virus (AAV), neural circuit mapping, transsynaptic and transneuronal delivery, research tool, mouse model, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, chronic pain
Posted DateAug 27, 2017 11:26 PM

Market Opportunity

The U.S. Federal government committed $4.5 billion dollars to the BRAIN initiative, because deciphering complex neural circuits underlying mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression is key to developing targeted therapies. Available treatments for these disorders lack specificity and therefore cause severe side effects in patients. Retrograde transcellular viral tracers are powerful tools for mapping the inputs to specific neuronal populations in brain circuits. However, anterograde viral tracers for identifying target neurons downstream of synaptic outputs remain under-developed. 

USC Solution

USC scientists have demonstrated that anterograde transport of adeno-associative virus (AAV) from pre-synaptic neurons can effectively and specifically drive transgene expression in postsynaptic neurons. This technique allows identification and manipulation of second-order neuronal projections in the brain. 

Value Proposition

  • First technique demonstrating anterograde transneuronal propagation of AAV virus
  • Non-toxic tool conclusively maps neural circuits to reveal brain structure
  • Long term, robust expression of viral transgenes


  • Research tool for identifying specific components of neural circuits involved in behavior and disease
  • Tool for targeted delivery of viral-based gene therapy

Stage of Development

  • Validated in a mouse model
  • Available for exclusive and non-exclusive license

Intellectual Property

Contact Information

Camilo Ansarah-Sobrinho, Licensing Associate

USC Stevens Center for Innovation

(213) 821-6071



File Name Description
NCD 2016-194 - Trans-Neuronal Tag for Mapping and Modulating Neural Circuits.pdf None Download