UCL Division of Biosciences


UCL IHA Virtual Symposium: Neurodegeneration in Flies

This seminar series brings together researchers from around the globe who study neurodegenerative diseases and age-related neurodegeneration using flies.

fly brain

The fruit fly Drosophila is an incredibly useful model organism for studying neurodegenerative disease due to its short lifespan and wide array of genetic tools.

Our sessions will feature world-leading researchers in the field, as well as early-career researchers, sharing their latest findings in neurodegeneration.

All sessions will be held on Thursdays at 16:00 London, UK time, dates follow below.  

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 964 7040 4726
Passcode: 359126

In an effort to keep conversations going after the talks, we have set up a Slack workspace for Neurodegeneration in Flies. Please join in to post and respond to follow-up questions for speakers, job adverts, requests for advice or collaboration, and general conversation about the joys of working with flies! Join via this link: Slack workspace for Neurodegeneration in Flies.

Event information

1st June 2023

Speaker: Dr Owen Peters, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK

Title: Glial function of phosphoinositide metabolising enzymes in fly models of Alzheimer’s disease and injury

Zoom Recording

Passcode: saD?@E6*


Upcoming Speakers

6th July 2023

Speaker: Dr Hakeem Lawal, Biological Sciences, Delaware State University, USA

Tile: What’s Drosophila Got to Do With It? Using Flies to Investigate Mechanisms of Synaptic Transmission Relevant to Aging and Parkinson’s Disease.


3rd August 2023

Speaker: Dr Roman Praschberger, VIB, Belgium


7th September 2023

Speaker: tbc 


5th October 2023

Speaker: Dr Natalia Sanchez-Soriano, Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, UK


5th October 2023

Speaker: Dr Doris Kretzschmar, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon, USA

dr_doris_ Kretzschmar320

Past Speakers

20th April, 2023
Marc Freeman, Sarm1 signaling in the injured nervous system
9th March, 2023
Ryan West, The Role of Ataxin2 in Drosophila models of C9Orf72-related Motor Neurone Disease expressing 1000-repeat dipeptide-repeats
9th February, 2023
Veronique Monnier, GAA-repeat-expansion-based Drosophila models to explore therapies in Friederich ataxia.
1st December, 2022
Kerri Kinghorn, Unravelling the gut-brain axis in Parkinson's disease.
3rd November, 2022
Manish Jaiswal, Identification of novel regulators of mitochondrial fusion through genetic screens in Drosophila.
6th October, 2022
Joseph Bateman, MIochondrial stress signalling, metabolism and neurodegeneration in Drosophila.
1st September, 2022
Pierre Dourleen, Functional characterisation of Alzheimer's Disease genetic risk factors in Drosophila.
4th August, 2022
Girish Ratnaparkhi, The VAPB social network: at the crossroads of ER stress, proteostasis and inflammation.
7th July, 2022
Miguel MartinsMitochondria and neurodegneration.
Rebeka Popovic, Perk signalling from the gut to the brain in a Parkinson's disease model.
16th June, 2022
Erik Storkebaum, Lost in translation: mismatch between codon demand and tRNA supply in neurodegenerative disease.
5th May, 2022
Katerina PapanikolopoulouThe Cys sense: Tau as a redox-regulated protein.
3rd March, 2022
Niamh O'SullivanInvestigating the role of ER proteins in motor neuron degeneration.
3rd February, 2022
Flaviano GiorginiThe kynurenine pathway and neurodegeneration: from mechanisms to therapeutics.
Robert Fueda, The origin and evolution of serotonergic neurons.
13th January, 2022
Daniela Zarnescu, Modelling TDP-43 proteinopathies in ALS and FTD relevant circuits in Drosophila.
9th December, 2021
Josh Dubnau, A behavioral screen for mediators of TDP-43 neurodegeneration identifies SF2/SRSF1 among a group of potent suppressors in both neurons and glia.
25th November, 2021
Kyoung Sang Cho, Novel Alzheimer's disease risk genes associated with the membrane trafficking pathway identified in the Korean population.
11th November, 2021
Kristi Wharton, Suppression of motor circuit dysfunction and neurodegeneration associated with ALS.
28th October, 2021
Kanae Ando, What triggers tau accumulation in neurodegenerative diseases?
14th October, 2021
Mani Ramaswami, Neuronal RNP granules and Ataxin-2: their roles in neural function and disease.
30th September, 2021
James Hodge, Studying the behavioural and neural circuit changes accompanying ageing and neurodegenerative disease in flies.
Ko-Fan ChenA neuroprotective role of circadian clock in neurodegeneration?.
16th September, 2021
James Jepson, How does potassium channel hyperfunction cause dystonia? Defining critical cell-types and developmental windows using a Drosophila knock-in model.
2nd September, 2021
Jimena Alejandra Sierralta, Studying brain metabolism using Drosophila.
22nd July, 2021
Leeanne McGurk, PARsing out TDP-43 in motor neuron disease.
Mamta RaiMuscle-stress signaling via myokine preserves CNS proteostasis during aging.
8th July, 2021
Cahir O'Kane,  A neuron within a neuron - axonal endoplasmic reticulum and its links to hereditary spastic paraplegia.
10th June, 2021
Tom Lloyd, Mechanistic links between nucleocytoplasmic transport and proteostasis in ALS/FTD.
Gabriella ZunigaTau-induced deficits in nonsense-mediated RNA decay contribute to neurodegeneration.  
27th May, 2021
Angela Giangrande, Immune cells within and outside the nervous system: an evolutionarily conserved pathway.
China Byrns, Glia: Friend and Foe in Traumatic Brain Injury.  
13th May, 2021
Xinnan Wang, Mitochondrial homeostasis in neurodegeneration.
Adrian Beckmann, Pathogenic Tau disrupts the cellular program that maintains neuronal identity. 
29th April, 2021
Bess FrostTransposable element activation in neurodegenerative tauopathies
15th April, 2021
Patricia Jarabo BlazquezA feedback loop for lethality: glioblastoma and circadian clock
Nathan Woodling,  Cell-type-specific modulation of longevity and Amyloid-beta toxicity by neurons and glia
18 March, 2021
Shinya YamamotoThe roles of TM2D genes in Alzheimer’s Disease and Notch signaling
Teresa Niccoli, Screening for modifiers of C9orf72 hexonucleotide repeat toxicity.
4 March, 2021
Manolis FantoNeurodegeneration through autophagy dysfunctions
Li Li, A Mitochondrial Membrane-Bridging Machinery is a Drug Target for Healthy and Unhealthy Aging
18 February, 2021
Sergio Casas TintoCell to cell communication in Glioblastoma-induced neurodegeneration
Tyler Fortuna, DDX17 is a modifier of mutant FUS Toxicity in vivo
21 January, 2021
Mary Logan, Exploring glial transcriptional responses to axon injury in Drosophila
Owen PetersDrosophila as a model to investigate genes associated with increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
7 January, 2021
Nancy BoniniA Drosophila approach for traumatic brain injury highlights a glial response.
Magda Atilano, Enhanced insulin signalling ameliorates C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion toxicity in Drosophila
17 December, 2020
Udai Pandey, Identifying genetic modifiers and molecular pathways involved in human motor neuron disease.
Shyama NandakumarCell Cycle Re-entry in the adult Drosophila brain.
3 December, 2020
Alex Whitworth
, Cambridge University, UK. Mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease.
Abby Olsen, Harvard Medical School, USA. A Drosophila Model for Defining the Genetic Contribution of Glia to Parkinson’s Disease.
19 November, 2020
Mel Feany, Harvard Medical School, USA. Common mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis.
James Catterson, University of Edinburgh, UK. Laminins to the Rescue! Aβ toxicity is rescued by protein retention in the ER.
5 November, 2020
Joshua Shulman, Baylor College of Medicine, USA. The Brain Transcriptome in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Gaynor Smith, Cardiff University, UK. The Genetics of Axonal Mitochondrial Biology.
22 October, 2020
Amritpal Mudher, University of Southampton, UK. Tau tangles in Drosophila models of tauopathy - fact or fiction?.
Lovesha Sivanantharajah, University of Bangor, UK.
8 October, 2020
Patrik Verstreken, VIB-KU Leuven, Center for Brain and Disease Research, Belgium. The cellular phase of Parkinson's disease.
Pablo Largo-Barrientos, VIB-KU Leuven, Center for Brain and Disease Research, Belgium. The pathogenic interaction of synaptic Tau and Synaptogyrin-3: from fruit flies to mice
24 September, 2020
Pedro Fernandez-Funez, University of Minnesota Medical School, USA. Unravelling the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms underlying the toxicity of the prion protein.
Ryan Myers, University of Minnesota Medical School, USA. Y225A suppresses the toxicity of human prion protein by inducing long-range changes that stabilize a critical 3D domain.
10 September, 2020
Sean T Sweeney, University of York, UK. Identifying pathological events and therapeutics in FTD-ALS using Drosophila.
Chris Ugbode, University of York, UK. Identifying new roles for JNK in the regulation of Neuronal Antioxidant Responses.
27 August, 2020
Hugo Bellen, Baylor College of Medicine, USA. The study of rare neurological diseases drives discoveries for common diseases.