All brains must transition from inactive to active during development. While neural activity early in life is crucial for neural circuit wiring in many contexts, how the brain “turns on”, and how this initial activity influences circuit formation, remain unclear in any system. To study this evolutionarily conserved phenomenon, we combine imaging of neural activity in the intact fruit fly embryo, quantitative behavioral analysis, and advanced genetics. The fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) offers a unique set of powerful genetic tools and has an accessible nervous system that shares common features with those many animals, including humans. Our research program aims to reveal the underlying logic of how brains become active, and how early activity influences circuit formation to sculpt mature behaviors.
Current Appointments & Affiliations
Education, Training & Certifications
UT Southwestern Medical School · 2016 Ph.D.
University of Puerto Rico · 2009 B.S.