Cyrille Girardin Awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship
Cyrille Girardin, a new postdoctoral fellow in Professor Mala Murthy's lab, was recently awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship. This is one of the most distinguished European fellowships, and allows individual researchers to join a research team in another country, and then bring newly acquired expertise back to their home institutions.
Dr. Girardin will first take advantage of the small nervous system and powerful genetic tools of Drosophila to identify and record from single neurons in the auditory pathway. Flies use auditory signals during their courtship ritual, and Cyrille will measure auditory responses to courtship sounds using in in vivo whole-cell patch clamp methods. These neurons remain largely uncharacterized presently, and Cyrille's experiments will be among the first to determine the neural basis of acoustic communication in Drosophila. Upon his return to the University of Konstanz, Cyrille will use intracellular and optical imaging methods to identify neurons in the auditory centers of the honeybee, and will extend his studies to a more sophisticated communication mode, the bee waggle dance. His results will shed light on circuits underlying sound processing in the brain and will contribute to the understanding of fundamental principles of communication.