Dr Liria Masuda-Nakagawa
Senior Research Associate
Dr Liria Masuda-Nakagawa is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.
http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/researc... (personal home page)
I am interested in the circuit mechanisms of odor discrimination learning in the higher brain. The mushroom bodies (MBs) of insect brains are centers for associative olfactory learning. Using Drosophila larva, I have characterized the input region of the MBs, the calyx, and found that it has about 34 glomeruli, 23 of which receive olfactory input. Individual MB neurons receive input from multiple glomeruli, suggesting a combinatorial coding mechanism for odor representation. My goal is to understand the circuit mechanisms that determine and modulate odor representations in the calyx. I am analyzing the circuit at single-cell resolution, using genetically targeted expression, calcium imaging, and behavioral assays. Students have been actively working in this project with successful results. Students are welcome to participate in this project.
Associated News Items
Masuda-Nakagawa LM, Ito K, Awasaki T, O'Kane CJ (2014), “A single GABAergic neuron mediates feedback of odor-evoked signals in the mushroom body of larval Drosophila.” Front Neural Circuits 8:35 Details
Masuda-Nakagawa LM, Awasaki T, Ito K, O'Kane CJ (2010), “Targeting expression to projection neurons that innervate specific mushroom body calyx and antennal lobe glomeruli in larval Drosophila.” Gene Expr Patterns 10(7-8):328-37 Details
Masuda-Nakagawa LM, Gendre N, O'Kane CJ, Stocker RF (2009), “Localized olfactory representation in mushroom bodies of Drosophila larvae.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(25):10314-9 Details
Masuda-Nakagawa LM, Tanaka NK, O'Kane CJ (2005), “Stereotypic and random patterns of connectivity in the larval mushroom body calyx of Drosophila.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102(52):19027-32 Details