Genetic models for neurodevelopment and disease

Title: Genetic models for neurodevelopment and disease

Teacher: dr. Alessia Soldano

Amount of frontal teaching: 18h

Description: the course will provide an overview of the non-mammalian genetic models used to dissect the mechanism underlying nervous system development, differentiation, and circuit formation with a major focus on the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. The course will also highlight the contribute of these models to the study of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

This course will include the following topics:

  1. Introduction on the most used non-mammalian genetic models: advantages and disadvantages

  2. Introduction on Drosophila melanogaster: history of the use of this model in biology

  3. Neurodevelopment of Drosophila

  4. Genetic manipulation of Drosophila and main techniques to induce tissue/time specific manipulation of gene expression

  5. Live imaging techniques to visualize neuronal activity

  6. Overview of the behavioral assays available for Drosophila

  7. Overview of the use of Drosophila to perform genetic and chemical screens

  8. Genetic models of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases