Mechanosensation: From ion channels to animal behaviors - Wei Zhang

Event Details:

Monday, March 7, 2016
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10:00am to 10:00am PST
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Stanford Neurosciences Institute
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Mechanosensation: From ion channels to animal behaviors Wei Zhang, PhD Postdoctoral FellowDepartment of Physiology, UCSF

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.