Stanford Neurosciences Institute Molecular Neuroscience Junior Faculty Candidate
Abstract: Mechanosensation, the sensation for mechanical force, employs mechanosensitive ion channels to detect touch, pain, body movement, sound and other cues. In this talk, I will describe our work using Drosophila sensory neurons as a model to elucidate the molecular and cellular basis for mechanosensory behaviors. I will show the neural structure for gentle touch sensation in the fly larvae, and the mechanosensitive channel that mediates its extraordinary sensitivity. I will then describe the intriguing properties of this channel, and how it fulfills the mechanical-electrical transduction with its unique features. I will also discuss how this research strategy could be applied to the highly diverse mechanosensory behaviors.