Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences GSN-LMU

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Student Research Assistant

Molecular and genetic strategies to study motion vision in Drosophila - Department “Circuits-Computation-Models” of Prof. Dr. Alexander Borst at the MPI for Neurobiology



Our lab is interested in the computation of visual information in the Drosophila optic lobe: How does the fly brain convert brightness information obtained by the photoreceptors into motion direction information? T4 and T5 neurons are the first neurons along the visual processing chain that respond to visual motion in a direction selective way. To describe how such direction selective responses in T4 and T5 come about, a so called 3-arm detector model was proposed recently. This model relies on the comparison of signals originating from neighboring points in space via a delay-and-compare mechanism. The central arm provides fast excitation to the neuron, while the two flanking arms possess slow dynamics, one amplifying the central signal implementing for stimuli moving along the preferred direction, the other inhibiting the central signal for stimuli moving along the null direction of the neuron.
For the cellular implementation of this model, the organization of transmitter receptors on T4 and T5 dendrites plays a crucial role. To investigate this hypothesis, we are developing tools to analyze the expression pattern and spatial distribution of receptors on T4/T5 dendrites.

We are looking for a highly motivated student with a background in biology, biochemistry or related fields to support us as a student assistant (HiWi). The work involves basic wetlab tasks such as PCR, gel electrophoresis, cloning of recombinant plasmids, handling of DNA and RNA, common DNA preparation kits, etc. You are required to have basic experience in laboratory work and should be available for at least one year, starting as soon as possible.

If you are interested, please contact Sandra Fendl (