Drosophila Neurobiology: Genes, Circuits & Behavior
June 28 - July 18, 2019
Application Deadline: March 15, 2019


C. Andrew Frank, University of Iowa
Ellie Heckscher, University of Chicago
Alex Keene, Florida Atlantic University

See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past 

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Social Media Coordinator: Sarah Ly, University of Pennsylvania

This laboratory/lecture course is intended for researchers at all levels from beginning graduate students through established primary investigators who want to use Drosophila as an experimental system for nervous system investigation. This three-week course is designed to introduce students to a wide variety of topics and techniques, including the latest approaches for studying nervous system development, activity and connectivity, as well as complex behaviors and disease models.

Daily research seminars present comprehensive overviews of specific subfields of nervous system development or function or focus on state-of-the-art techniques and approaches in Drosophila neuroscience. Expert guest lecturers discuss their findings and approaches, and bring along their own assays and techniques for students to learn in the laboratory part of the course.

The hands-on portion of the course is centered on inquiry-based projects, utilizing the different morphological and physiological measurements and behavioral paradigms learned at the course. This includes molecular-genetic analyses, immunocytochemistry, recording of activity using electrophysiology and genetically encoded calcium indicators, optogenetic and thermogenetic control of neural activity, as well as numerous quantitative behavioral measures.

Collectively, the course will provide a comprehensive and practical introduction to modern experimental methods for studying the neural basis of behavior in Drosophila.

2019 Speakers:

James Ashley, University of Chicago
Robert Carrillo, University of Chicago
Cathy Collins, University of Michigan
Andrew Dacks, West Virginia University 
Claude Desplan, New York University
Vivek Jayaraman, HHMI, Janelia Research Campus
Minoree Kohwi, Columbia University
Aurel Lazar, Columbia University
Joel Levine, University of Toronto, Canada
Matthieu Louis, University of California Santa Barbara
Timothy Mosca, Thomas Jefferson University
Nara Muraro, Instituto de Investigación en Biomedicina deBuenos Aires (IBioBA)-CONICET, Argentina
Katherine Nagel, New York University Neuroscience Institute
Tania Reis, University of Colorado Medical School
Michael Reiser, HHMI, Janelia Research Campus
Vanessa Ruta, Rockefeller University
Bethany Stahl, Florida Atlantic University
Seth Tomchik,
Scripps Research Institute
Dan Tracey, Indiana University
Chris Vecsey, Skidmore College
Pelin Volkan, Duke University
Jill Wildonger, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Meg Younger, Rockefeller University

The course is supported by funds provided by: National Science Foundation, Helmsley Charitable Trust and Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Funding is available for domestic and international students accepted to this course.

Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows-

Scientists from developing countries accepted into this course may be eligible for scholarships provided by the International Brain Research Organization.


We would like to acknowledge the following companies that provided invaluable support:

Nikon Instruments, Inc., Scientifica
Equipment: AD Instruments, A-M Systems, Inc., Andor Technology, Molecular Devices, Narishige International USA, Photometrics, Sutter Instrument Company
Donations: Aves, Vector Laboratories

Cost (including board and lodging): $4,990

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on June 27 and plan to depart after lunch on July 18.

Before applying, ensure you have:
  1. Personal statement/essay;
  2. Letter(s) of recommendation;
  3. Curriculum vitae/resume (optional);
  4. Financial aid request (optional).
    More details.

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: