Laboratory of Behavioral and Developmental Genetics
The Laboratory of Behavioral and Developmental Genetics researches Gene circuits in Drosophila brain development as models for human neurodevelopmental disorders from transcription factors to effector genes and signaling pathways.
The long-term objectives of their research comprise:
- the determination of the complexity of gene circuits required for neuronal identity and connectivity,
- the analysis of the relationship between target genes and target gene products of a single transcription factor,
- the analysis of the regulatory sequences that control groups of target genes and the determination of the commonality between the regulatory sequences,
- the study of the role of the individual target genes in determining neuronal identity and connectivity,
- the determination of the relative contribution of mutations in the target genes to the phenotypes associated with mutations in the transcription factor, and
- the identification of gene circuits conserved between Drosophila and human.
The primary potential for applications of the current program is in gene and pathway discovery. The novel knowledge about brain development disease and neuronal function stemming from this program will lead to the identification of candidate disease genes involved in disorders ranging from microscopic brain defects with associated epilepsies to behavioral alterations.