Presented by Yuly Fuentes-Medel

Model organism systems amenable to genetic manipulation have made seminal contributions to many aspects of modern science. These organisms with small brains have inspired the discoveries of big ideas in such complex problems as cell death, ion channel function, and pattern formation during development. In this lecture you will learn what a model organism is and see some examples, with a focus on the research done by Dr. Fuentes’ thesis work on synaptic plasticity using Drosophila as a model. Her work shines light upon the molecular pathway important for the maintenance of dynamic structures at neuronal connections. Furthermore, the use and maintenance of model organisms are relatively inexpensive and straightforward compared to mammalian models. These features make invertebrate model systems ideal subjects for research in areas of the world such as Latin America where limited resources are available for scientific research. We will hear some stories from outreach effort in her native Chile.

Lecture

Watch the lecture live here.

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