Speaker:

Dr Yee Lian Chew
MRC Investigator Scientist
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK

Title: "How a worm thinks: lessons from C. elegans neuropeptide signalling"

Abstract: Mapping neural networks is a major goal of global brain research initiatives. Much of this focuses on mapping synaptic connections between neurons. However, a considerable amount of neuronal communication occurs via neuromodulators such as neuropeptides and monoamines, which can act outside synapses. Neuromodulator-dependent signalling clearly drives important behaviours. My research focussed on investigating the functions of neuropeptide networks and circuits in C. elegans, using techniques such as automated behavioural tracking, optogenetics, microfluidics-based calcium-imaging, and high-content phenotyping.  We showed that locomotor and sensory sensitisation during behavioural arousal in response to aversive touch occurs in a two-step process of neuropeptide signalling: afferent neuropeptides first convey mechanosensory information from sensory neurons to central interneurons, and these neuroendocrine centres then release efferent signals to convey behavioural state information to the periphery. Future work could exploit this system as a model to understand the principles through which neuropeptide signalling networks interact with the synaptic connectome to control behavioural states.

 

About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

The scheduled QBI Neuroscience Seminar series are held on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm in the Level 7 Auditorium of the Queensland Brain Institute, Building 79, St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland. Additional seminars may be held at other times as listed below.

 

Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2016