2016. Harvard University. PhD.
A key question in developmental neurobiology is how neurons are precisely targeted in the brain to form functional circuits. In the Drosophila optic lobe, 60,000 neurons of more than 100 distinct types interpret visual information from the retina. I am interested in two populations of neurons that must migrate a significant distance from their place of birth through the developing Drosophila brain. Once they reach the appropriate location, these two neuron populations send projections that adopt very different morphologies along the length of a single neuron. My goal is to identify the intra- and extra-cellular signals that direct these neurons to migrate to the appropriate location and to subsequently innervate two neuropils with such diverse morphology.