Andrew Straw

Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP)

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Scientific Expertise & Collaborations: Andrew Straw (AS) is a Group Leader at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, a basic biomedical research institute sponsored largely by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Straw lab page:

Research & Training Environment: The IMP is a basic biomedical research institute with 16 independent research groups addressing a broad range of questions in the molecular life sciences ( Traditionally strong in molecular and cell biology, the institute has recently also expanded its focus to include computational and structural biology and neuroscience. Recent hiring has established a particular strength in circuit neuroscience, with 6 groups now working to elucidate the circuits and neural mechanisms underlying various behaviours in genetic model organisms. The institute offers cutting-edge core scientific services, including advanced light and electron microscopy, genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics.

The IMP is located on the Vienna Biocenter Campus, and together with 3 neighbouring research institutes runs the VBC international PhD programme ( This programme recruits some 50 PhD students annually, In addition to the thesis research, the programme offers an extensive series of lecture courses, hands-on training in various technologies, and training in “soft skills” such as career development, scientific writing, and presentation techniques. As part of the new focus in neuroscience, additional courses in basic and advanced neuroscience are being established. Regular seminar speakers and journal clubs further broaden the students’ horizons. Students frequently invite and host their own speakers, and organise an annual symposium on a topic of their choice.

Most relevant publications

1. Straw, AD., Branson, K., Neumann, TR., Dickinson, MH. (2011). Multi-camera real-time three-dimensional tracking of multiple flying animals. J R Soc Interface. 8(56):395-409
2. Maimon, G., Straw, AD., Dickinson, MH. (2010). Active flight increases the gain of visual motion processing in Drosophila. Nat Neurosci. 13(3):393-9
3. Straw, AD., Lee, S., Dickinson, MH. (2010). Visual control of altitude in flying Drosophila. Curr Biol. 20(17):1550-6
4. Straw, AD., Rainsford, T., O'Carroll, DC. (2008). Contrast sensitivity of insect motion detectors to natural images. J Vis.8(3):32.1-9
5. Straw, AD., Warrant, EJ., O'Carroll, DC. (2006). A "bright zone" in male hoverfly (Eristalis tenax) eyes and associated faster motion detection and increased contrast sensitivity. J Exp Biol. 209(Pt 21):4339-54