I was trained by Dr. Arnold B. Scheibel at UCLA, and have been using the same histological technique (the Golgi stain) developed by Golgi and Cajal over 100 years ago. Our laboratory has traced more than 3,000 neurons to date across a wide variety of species: humans, African Elephant, humpback whale, minke whale, giraffe, Siberian tiger, manatee...and others.
There is something special each time one stains a brain and looks at the neuronal forest under a microscope--it is an adventure because each forest of nerve cells is unique, particularly when it is a species that has never been examined before. One never knows what the stain will reveal.
Students at my present institution actively participate in these projects as part of their senior theses. The students frequently become co-authors when the research is published. In the last five years, we have published over 15 papers in top-notch neuroscience journals. The training my students receive allows most of them to continue on to medical school or Ph.D. programs in the neurosciences.
The present project on Gigantopyramidal neurons is devoted to Dr. Scheibel, who is now 93 years of age. He was one of the pioneers in exploring these neurons in humans, and is one of the founding fathers of modern neuroscience.