|University of Fribourg - UNIFR|
Department of Zoology
Background and previous research experience
I did my bachelor in biomedical sciences and my masters in cellular neurobiology. I had a main focus on cell proliferation and differentiation in mammal brain. I got the great opportunity to do my master's thesis on mouse adult neurogenesis in Dr Slack lab, Ottawa. I was specifically interested in the role of cell cycle proteins in the generation of newborn neurons.
Main areas of interest
I am strongly interested in developmental biology, cell biology and neurosciences.
I am now focusing on the visual system and behavior. Also along my project, i got interest in neurogenetics.
The Drosophila larva displays an array of innate behavioral responses to sensory stimuli such as light, olfactory or gustatory cues. While during larval life these responses are thought to be stereotypic, the response are changing during late larval stages prior to metamorphosis.
In my project I investigate developmental controlled behavioral changes during the life of the Drosophila larvae by focusing on visual and olfactory behaviors. Genetic manipulations of individual neurons in the visual circuit are characterized by changes in features of the sensory motor program in navigation. I use computer aided tracking (in collaboration with the laboratory of Aravi Samuel at Harvard University).
In order to depict and characterize the visual circuit we collaborate with Albert Cardona (HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus). We use a stack of serial transmission electron microscopically imaged sections of the larval brain. By doing so we can reconstruct all elements of the visual circuit and depict synaptic connects. In parallel, I will use genetic tools to express fluorescent proteins in distinct pre or postsynaptic domains in genetically traceable neurons.