Desplan Lab
New York University. 100 Washington Square East.
1009 Silver Center. New York, NY. 10003.

Ph.D. Candidate

Zhenqing Chen

(212) 992-9529


  • 2006. Fudan University (China). B.S.


  • Lamina development and cell type specification.

    Drosophila adult optic lobe is divided into four well-organized neuropils, the lamina, medulla, lobula and lobula plate. Lamina receives projections from outer photoreceptors and is critical for motion detection. With only five types of neurons, lamina is the simplest neuropils in Drosophila optic lobe. Lamina development is tightly coupled with retina development. Retinal HH is transported along photoreceptor axons to trigger lamina development in the optic lobe(Huang and Kunes, 1996, 1998; Chu et al., 2006). HH signal induces the final mitosis of LPCs(Selleck et al., 1992; Huang and Kunes, 1996, 1998). HH also activated EGF receptor expression in post-mitotic LPCs and make them capable of receiving EGF ligand Spitz (Spi), which is also from photoreceptor axons. Spi activates EGFR pathway in post-mitotic LPCs and promotes their terminal neuron differentiation and cartridge assembly (Huang et al., 1998). However, it is still not known how the five cell types are defined in this context. My project mainly focuses on lamina development and especially how different types of neurons are specified during this process.
  • Development of medulla and lamina neurons