I’m in the last year of my undergrad Neuroscience degree at UCL, and have caught the Drosophila bug that’s been doing the rounds for the past hundred years or so. I’m interested in sensory systems, particularly hearing and olfaction, on a cellular level, and am keen to find out how relatively small groups of neurons in the fly achieve such complex, intriguing tasks as auditory processing in Johnston’s organ, and the central clock’s integration of stimuli and regulation of activity.
Currently I’m looking at whether gap junctions (innexins) play an important role in mechanosensory transduction in primary auditory neurons: it is possible their localisation in support cells helps generate an ionic potential (driving force) for transduction like mammalian gap junctions do in the cochlea. In a separate project, we are considering the ability of mechanical stimuli to entrain the Drosophila brain clock.
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