two men, with one holding a tiny device with a bright light on his fingertip College of Engineering Philipp Gutruf (left) and Jokubas Ausra and team are creating new tools for a method called optogenetics, which shines light at specific neurons in the brain to excite or suppress activity. The goal is to better understand how the brain works, allowing scientists to develop and test potential cures for illnesses such as neurodegenerative diseases.