GSBS Student Publications


Drosophila olfactory memory: single genes to complex neural circuits

Student Author(s)

Alex Keene

GSBS Program


UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Waddell Lab; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Drosophila; Genes, Insect; Memory; Nerve Net; Olfactory Pathways


Neuroscience and Neurobiology


A central goal of neuroscience is to understand how neural circuits encode memory and guide behaviour. Studying simple, genetically tractable organisms, such as Drosophila melanogaster, can illuminate principles of neural circuit organization and function. Early genetic dissection of D. melanogaster olfactory memory focused on individual genes and molecules. These molecular tags subsequently revealed key neural circuits for memory. Recent advances in genetic technology have allowed us to manipulate and observe activity in these circuits, and even individual neurons, in live animals. The studies have transformed D. melanogaster from a useful organism for gene discovery to an ideal model to understand neural circuit function in memory.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 May;8(5):341-54. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

Journal Title

Nature reviews. Neuroscience

PubMed ID