- 2009. Columbia University. PhD.
- The genetic basis of neural diversity remains one of the major outstanding issues in neurobiology. The generation of the 60-70 different neuron types in the Drosophila medulla represents a complex, but not insurmountable model for the study of the genetic basis of neuronal specification. Recent advances in flow cytometry and RNA deep-sequencing technologies have made it possible to isolate and determine the complete gene-expression battery of individual neuron types.
- We are using new and existing GAL4 lines that specifically label one type of medulla neuron for this cell-sorting and deep-sequence approach. For each medulla neuron sub-type deep-sequenced, we will know the complete transcription factor code for that neuron, its ion-channel repertoire, small-rna expression profile and neurotransmitter/receptor expression. This analysis will generate numerous candidate genes, especially new transcription factors, for evaluation by loss-of-function and/or over-expression analysis for phenotypes in morphological, behavioral, electrophysiology, and molecular assays that the lab has already developed. This analysis will significantly advance our knowledge of the developmental logic of the medulla by determining the transcription factor code of each of the neuron types sequenced.
- NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship - Current