Dr Gregory Jefferis

Gregory Jefferis

University position

MRC Programme Leader

Dr Gregory Jefferis is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology



Home page

http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/group-l... (personal home page)

Research Themes

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Systems and Computational Neuroscience


Our broad goal is to understand how smell turns into behaviour in the fruit fly brain. We use a combination of genetic labelling and manipulation, targeted in vivo whole cell patch clamp recording and high resolution neuroanatomy to study olfactory circuits. Key interests include understanding how third order olfactory neurons of the lateral horn integrate information from specific olfactory channels. This process of selective integration is the fundamental unit of perception and is likely to underlie innate behavioural responses to general odours and sex pheromones. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about the group.

Confocal image of fruit fly brain with GFP labelled olfactory projection neurons.  On the left a single neuron has been genetically labelled.  On the right a clonally related group of 30 cells derived from a single neuroblast (neural stem cell).
Confocal image of fruit fly brain with GFP labelled olfactory projection neurons. On the left a single neuron has been genetically labelled. On the right a clonally related group of 30 cells derived from a single neuroblast (neural stem cell).
View image full-size (5764x4022 pixels)

Research Focus




Neural Coding



Clinical conditions

No direct clinical relevance


Confocal microscopy

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Fluorescence microscopy

Genetic Labelling and Manipulation of Neurons

Image Registration (for 3D Brain Atlases)


Intracellular recording


Multiphoton imaging


Single Cell Labelling (MARCM)

Whole cell patch clamp



Matthias Landgraf

Mate Lengyel

Darren Logan

Marco Tripodi


Richard Benton Web: http://www.unil.ch/cig/pag...

Thomas Preat Web: http://www.gdsm.espci.fr/

Torsten Rohlfing Web: http://www.stanford.edu/~rohlfing/

Gerry Rubin Web: http://www.hhmi.org/scienti...

Marcus Stensmyr Web: http://www.biology.lu.se/marcus-...

Glenn Turner Web: http://www.cshl.edu/public/...

Marta Zlatic Web: https://www.hhmi.org/scienti...

Associated News Items

Key publications

Kohl J, Ng J, Cachero S, Ciabatti E, Dolan MJ, Sutcliffe B, Tozer A, Ruehle S, Krueger D, Frechter S, Branco T, Tripodi M, Jefferis GS (2014), “Ultrafast tissue staining with chemical tags.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(36):E3805-14 PDF Details

Kohl J, Ostrovsky AD, Frechter S, Jefferis GS (2013), “A bidirectional circuit switch reroutes pheromone signals in male and female brains.” Cell 155(7):1610-23 PDF Details

Grosjean Y, Rytz R, Farine JP, Abuin L, Cortot J, Jefferis GS, Benton R (2011), “An olfactory receptor for food-derived odours promotes male courtship in Drosophila.” Nature 478(7368):236-40 Details

Cachero S, Ostrovsky AD, Yu JY, Dickson BJ, Jefferis GS (2010), “Sexual dimorphism in the fly brain.” Curr Biol 20(18):1589-601 PDF Details

Yu JY, Kanai MI, Demir E, Jefferis GS, Dickson BJ (2010), “Cellular organization of the neural circuit that drives Drosophila courtship behavior.” Curr Biol 20(18):1602-14 Details

Masse NY, Turner GC, Jefferis GS (2009), “Olfactory information processing in Drosophila.” Curr Biol 19(16):R700-13 Details

Jefferis GS, Potter CJ, Chan AM, Marin EC, Rohlfing T, Maurer CR Jr, Luo L (2007), “Comprehensive maps of Drosophila higher olfactory centers: spatially segregated fruit and pheromone representation.” Cell 128(6):1187-203 PDF Details

Jefferis GS, Marin EC, Stocker RF, Luo L (2001), “Target neuron prespecification in the olfactory map of Drosophila.” Nature 414(6860):204-8 Details



Kohl J, Huoviala P, Jefferis GS (2015), “Pheromone processing in Drosophila.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 34:149-157 Details


Jefferis GS, Livet J (2012), “Sparse and combinatorial neuron labelling.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 22(1):101-10 Details

Masse NY, Cachero S, Ostrovsky AD, Jefferis GS (2012), “A mutual information approach to automate identification of neuronal clusters in Drosophila brain images.” Front Neuroinform 6:21 Details

Osumi-Sutherland D, Reeve S, Mungall CJ, Neuhaus F, Ruttenberg A, Jefferis GS, Armstrong JD (2012), “A strategy for building neuroanatomy ontologies.” Bioinformatics 28(9):1262-9 Details


Brown KM, Barrionuevo G, Canty AJ, De Paola V, Hirsch JA, Jefferis GS, Lu J, Snippe M, Sugihara I, Ascoli GA (2011), “The DIADEM data sets: representative light microscopy images of neuronal morphology to advance automation of digital reconstructions.” Neuroinformatics 9(2-3):143-57 Details

Cachero S, Jefferis GS (2011), “Double brainbow.” Nat Methods 8(3):217-8 Details

Kohl J, Jefferis GS (2011), “Neuroanatomy: decoding the fly brain.” Curr Biol 21(1):R19-20 Details

Silbering AF, Rytz R, Grosjean Y, Abuin L, Ramdya P, Jefferis GS, Benton R (2011), “Complementary function and integrated wiring of the evolutionarily distinct Drosophila olfactory subsystems.” J Neurosci 31(38):13357-75 Details


Cachero S, Jefferis GS (2008), “Drosophila olfaction: the end of stereotypy?” Neuron 59(6):843-5 Details


Antolin S, Jefferis GS (2006), “Olfactory coding: when smells collide.” Curr Biol 16(23):R1000-3 Details

Jefferis GS (2006), “Wiring specificity: axon-dendrite matching refines the olfactory map.” Curr Biol 16(10):R373-6 Details

Jefferis GS, Hummel T (2006), “Wiring specificity in the olfactory system.” Semin Cell Dev Biol 17(1):50-65 Details


Jefferis GS (2005), “Insect olfaction: a map of smell in the brain.” Curr Biol 15(17):R668-70 Details

Jefferis GS, Marin EC, Komiyama T, Zhu H, Chihara T, Berdnik D, Luo L (2005), “Development of wiring specificity of the Drosophila olfactory system.” Chem Senses 30 Suppl 1:i94 Details

Ramaekers A, Magnenat E, Marin EC, Gendre N, Jefferis GS, Luo L, Stocker RF (2005), “Glomerular maps without cellular redundancy at successive levels of the Drosophila larval olfactory circuit.” Curr Biol 15(11):982-92 Details

Taylor Tavares AL, Jefferis GS, Koop M, Hill BC, Hastie T, Heit G, Bronte-Stewart HM (2005), “Quantitative measurements of alternating finger tapping in Parkinson's disease correlate with UPDRS motor disability and reveal the improvement in fine motor control from medication and deep brain stimulation.” Mov Disord 20(10):1286-98 Details


Jefferis GS, Komiyama T, Luo L (2004), “Neuroscience. Calcium and CREST for healthy dendrites.” Science 303(5655):179-81 Details

Jefferis GS, Vyas RM, Berdnik D, Ramaekers A, Stocker RF, Tanaka NK, Ito K, Luo L (2004), “Developmental origin of wiring specificity in the olfactory system of Drosophila.” Development 131(1):117-30 Details


Komiyama T, Johnson WA, Luo L, Jefferis GS (2003), “From lineage to wiring specificity. POU domain transcription factors control precise connections of Drosophila olfactory projection neurons.” Cell 112(2):157-67 Details


Jefferis GS, Marin EC, Watts RJ, Luo L (2002), “Development of neuronal connectivity in Drosophila antennal lobes and mushroom bodies.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 12(1):80-6 Details

Marin EC, Jefferis GS, Komiyama T, Zhu H, Luo L (2002), “Representation of the glomerular olfactory map in the Drosophila brain.” Cell 109(2):243-55 Details


Kuwabara PE, Lee MH, Schedl T, Jefferis GS (2000), “A C. elegans patched gene, ptc-1, functions in germ-line cytokinesis.” Genes Dev 14(15):1933-44 Details