The primary focus of the Volkan lab is to understand how developmental processes and experience shape the brain.We investigate how the neuronal circuits assemble, functionally mature, and remodel with experience or evolutionary processes to regulate and modify behaviors. We use the olfactory system of the genetically tractable Drosophila melanogaster as a model neural circuit, and take interdisciplinary approaches, combining genetic, developmental, behavioral, and systems-level analyses to study how circuits form during development and remodel with experience.
Questions we are interested in:
What are the developmental and molecular mechanisms regulating sensory and wiring fates of 50 different olfactory receptor neuron classes?
How do these mechanisms change with experience and evolutionary processes to modulate behaviors?