GENETICS is pleased to announce eight new editors for the Neurogenetics & Behavior section of the journal: Arantza Barrios, Tamara Caspary, Catherine Kaczorowski, Karla Kaun, Kyuhyung Kim, Roger Pocock, Hongyan Wang, and Jill Wildonger.
Arantza Barrios is an Associate Professor/Reader in Neurobiology at University College London. Her lab uses the C. elegans male to investigate the mechanisms of flexible behavior. Their work focuses on three factors that influence the way neural circuits process sensory information: previous experiences, internal state, and biological sex.
Tamara Caspary is a Professor of Human Genetics at Emory University. She received her PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and postdoctoral training at the Sloan Kettering Institute. She is a mouse developmental geneticist and her research group uses forward and reverse genetics to identify and characterize genes that direct neural development. She is best known for her work on mouse mutants that disrupt cilia-associated proteins and related signaling pathways. Her lab focuses on the roles of such proteins in relation to mechanisms underlying human disease.
Catherine Kaczorowski is an associate professor and Evnin Family Chair in Alzheimer’s Research at The Jackson Laboratory. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at Northwestern University and postdoctoral training in systems genetics in the Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Her research focus is to identify early causative events that underlie cognitive deficits associated with normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Using multidisciplinary approaches that combine innovative high-resolution and high-throughput membrane proteomics, single-nuclear sequencing, viral-based gene therapy, electrophysiology and computational approaches, her team seeks to identify novel factors that promote resilience to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Karla Kaun is a behavioral neurogeneticist by training and has been working on understanding the genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of behavioral choice in invertebrate models for over 20 years. She is interested in understanding how memories are formed and maintained, and how alcohol and other drugs of abuse influence these memories. Her research team develops new methods to study motivational response in Drosophila, maps circuits for these behaviors, and investigates the molecular mechanisms within these circuits that affect neuronal plasticity and function. This research integrates approaches from behavioral neuroscience, pharmacology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University.
The overall goal of Kyuhyung Kim’s research is to investigate how the nervous system senses and integrates environmental cues to drive critically important behavioral programs using the model organisms, the nematode C. elegans. Specifically, his lab is mainly studying two C. elegans behaviors and their plasticity, including pheromone-mediated avoidance behavior and proprioceptive control of locomotion. Since neuronal and molecular pathways in C. elegans are highly conserved, results from this work are expected to provide insights into related signaling mechanisms in higher organisms.
Professor Roger Pocock leads the Brain Development, Neuroplasticity and Stem Cells Laboratory in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute.
Roger trained as a doctoral student at the University of Oxford from 2000-2004 with Alison Woollard, where he was first introduced to Caenorhabditis elegans research. During this period, Roger worked on the transcriptional control of embryonic development before moving into the neuroscience field. Roger performed his postdoctoral work at Columbia University (2004-2009) with Oliver Hobert. Here, he used C. elegans to study how the nervous system senses and responds to environmental stress.
In 2010, Roger started his own research group at the University of Copenhagen before relocating to Monash University in Melbourne, Australia in 2015. His laboratory examines how the nervous system develops and functions at the molecular and cellular level.
Dr. Hongyan Wang is Professor and Deputy Director of the Neuroscience & Behavioral Disorders Program at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. She obtained her PhD from the National University of Singapore, Singapore, awarded with Chua Toh Hua Memorial Gold Medal. She received postdoctoral training in Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore, and joined Duke-NUS Medical School as an Assistant Professor in 2007. She is among the first of a few researchers who established Drosophila neuroblasts as a new model for studying stem cell self-renewal and brain tumor formation. Currently, her lab uses Drosophila and mammalian neural stem cells to model neurodevelopmental disorders and brain tumours.
She was a recipient of the Singapore National Academy of Sciences and A*STAR Young Scientist Award in 2008, Khoo Discovery Award in 2008, and National Research Foundation (NRF) fellowship during 2009-2014. She is a member of the Asia-Pacific Drosophila Board and an elected EMBO Associate Member (2020).
Jill Wildonger has a long-standing interest in how neurons develop. Her research investigates the role that molecular motors and microtubules play in building functional neurons. A neurogeneticist by training, she blends cell biology and biochemistry with genetics. She capitalizes on the strengths of a Drosophila model and genome editing techniques to precisely manipulate protein function in vivo. Jill is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego.