Systems Molecular Biology for Neural Circuit Analysis
Hugo Bellen (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas): “Engineering Flies - Genomics Tools for Neuroscience”. Drosophila is currently the eukaryotic model organism that permits the most sophisticated in vivo manipulations to address the function of neurons and neuronal expressed genes. Bellen summarized many techniques that help assess the role of specific neurons by labeling, removing, or altering their activity.
Pavel Tomancak (MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden): “Imaging of Gene Expression during Neural Development”. Modern live imaging microscopy approaches enable capture of dynamic biological processes in vivo over extended periods of time and at high resolution. Such recordings typically result in large amounts of image data. He discussed these challenges in the context of acquisition and analysis of multi-view light sheet microscopy time lapse recordings of Drosophila embryonic development.
Stein Aerts (KU Leuven, Center for Human Genetics): “Systems Biology of Gene Regulation in Drosophila". He discussed systems biology applications to decipher gene regulatory networks underlying retinal determination in Drosophila. Particularly, he gave an outline of next-generation sequencing approaches to measure gene expression and chromatin activity, and of computational approaches to identify cis-regulatory elements and to infer gene regulatory networks.