Our research program is focused on the role of dopamine in behaviour control and neurodegenerative mechanisms in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Our approach combines Drosophila genetics, molecular biology, brain imaging and behavioral assays. We recently generated and characterized brain dopamine-deficient mutants and developed new models to study pathogenic mechanisms related to genetic and environmental factors of Parkinson disease.
In our ongoing projects, we are using biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology in conjunction with cell and mouse biology to identify the molecular mechanisms by which tubulin posttranslational modifications regulative microtubule behaviour and functions, and which are the cellular and developmental roles of these modifications and the corresponding enzymes. Our functional studies are focussed on the nervous system, cilia and flagella (including spermatogenesis), and cell division.