Our research group is interested in context-dependent modulation of behaviors and physiological processes by neuropeptides and their G-protein coupled receptors.
The nervous systems of animals utilize a wide variety of chemicals for neuronal communication. These include amino acids, biogenic amines, and neuropeptides amongst others. Neuropeptides are by far the most diverse, and control a range of essential physiological processes including feeding, metabolism, sleep, stress, reproduction, development and locomotion. Our working group is interested in understanding how neuropeptides mediate their effects in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We utilize multiple approaches in our lab including standard molecular techniques, CRISPR/Cas9, Drosophila genetics, behavioral analyses, optogenetics and calcium imaging. We are also developing cutting-edge genetic tools to study neuropeptide function in Drosophila.