Drosophila Developmental Neuroscience and Gene Regulation
The long-term goal of our lab’s research program is to understand the molecular basis of Drosophila CNS development. The experimental system we study are the neurons and glia that reside along the midline of the embryonic CNS. Much of our early work studied the Drosophila single-minded bHLH-PAS transcription factor gene, the master regulator of CNS midline cell development, and the lab continues to devote special attention to how transcription factors control developmental processes. In recent years, we have utilized genetic, molecular, genomic, and cellular approaches, including live imaging, to pioneer understanding of Drosophila CNS midline cell development. Our studies have revealed the regulatory circuitry controlling neuronal and glial cell fate and differentiation, the properties of midline transcriptional enhancer elements, the control of neuronal and glial cell migration, how axons and glia interact, and how motoneurons form precise synapses on muscles.