Assistant Professor, CLAS
Physiology and Neurobiology
Website:Â Â https://menuz.lab.uconn.edu/
Current Research Interests:
Our lab studies the cellular and molecular basis of chemosensation in insects. Our research aims to provide insight into fundamental principles of sensory neuroscience by addressing questions regarding the mechanisms underlying olfactory neuron physiology and behavior. Knowing that insect vectors of disease often rely on olfaction to detect their human hosts, our work is also motivated by the goal of identifying targets for the development of novel insect repellents.
Much of our research focuses on Drosophila due to its status as a powerful genetic model organism. Our lab takes a multi-disciplinary approach combining well-established techniques including genetic manipulation, electrophysiology, microscopy and behavioral assays with newer technologies such as RNASeq and CRISPR genome engineering.
Current Research Projects:
1) Using behavioral assays to screen Drosophila genetic mutants for possible olfactory roles of novel genes identified through a bioinformatic screen
2) Determining the localization and functional role of Cyp450 genes in odor degradation and olfactory signaling
3) Using cell-type specific transcriptional profiling to determine what distinguishes different support cell classes