Drosophila Neurobiology Group

During the past two decades, the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has proven itself as a highly productive genetic model for neurobiological function. In the areas of axon guidance, neuronal differentiation, synaptic structure/function, learning/memory and behavior among many, the fruit fly has made fundamental contributions to the molecular and physiological description of neuronal function and related pathologies.

Here at Iowa, we have gathered an interactive group of laboratories working on various aspects of neurobiological function in Drosophila allowing formation of an extensive network of collaborations as well as technological and resource support. The Drosophila genetic model has been shown to play a valuable complimentary and supportive role when combined with recent genomic and genetic approaches in vertebrate models such as the mouse and zebrafish.

The wealth of genetic and genomic tools available in the Drosophila system has allowed approaches to rapidly test or confirm key findings that may be significantly more challenging to address in a mouse model. The Drosophila Neurobiology Group has developed numerous collaborative projects throughout the Iowa research enterprise making key contributions to scientific advancement in a variety of basic science and clinical disciplines.

Education and Training