Differentiation of Neuronal and Non-Neuronal Components of the Drosophila Visual System
Jessica Treisman, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Cell Biology
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
During development, cells signal to one another to communicate positional information that directs them to take on appropriate fates and form contacts with the correct partners. We study these processes using the visual system of the fruit fly Drosophila as our primary model. The repetitive yet exquisitely organized structure of the Drosophila eye and the power of unbiased genetic screens have enabled us to uncover general mechanisms by which cells communicate.
We have identified novel components of the Hedgehog, Wnt, Notch, and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor pathways that are important for patterning the fly eye and are misregulated in cancer and other human diseases.
We also study how cell–cell signals are translated into cell fate decisions through effects on specific transcriptional or post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Visual system assembly requires neurons to identify and form synapses with the correct partners, in order to form a functional neural circuit. We are investigating the molecular basis for synaptic partner selection, as well as the mechanisms that allow synapse size to grow in proportion to the size of the target.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, August 17, 2022