URAP

Neha Simha

Investigating the relationship between water and sugar taste modalities in Drosophila melanogaster

The precise connections between gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) in the fruit fly brain is not understood. My research seeks to better understand the connection between GRNs identified as water-sensing and GRNs identified as sugar-sensing. The relationship can be characterized on a behavioral basis with optogenetic activation or knockout experiments measuring the frequency of response to water and sugar stimuli. It can also be visualized by imaging fluorescently labeled dissected brains. This summer, I hope to continue collecting data with these approaches and explore other ways to fully understand the connection between the two taste modalities.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you so much! Being a part of this program gave me something meaningful to do this summer. I learnt new skills that give me the confidence and ease to continue doing research this Fall. I will also be sharing these new skills with other students by training them in the Fall. I wouldn't be able to do any of it without your support! I appreciate it so much, thank you!
  • Major: Molecular & Cell Biology
  • Mentor: Kristin Scott, Molecular & Cell Biology