Rm: 2445 Bioscience Complex
Tel: (613) 533-6121
Faculty Web Site: http://www.queensu.ca/biology/people/faculty/bendena.html
How the nervous system functions in higher organisms is very complex! Our lab uses model organisms with less complex nervous systems that are amenable to molecular genetic analysis, namely, the nematode Caernorhabditis elegans and the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. Many genes found in these organisms have counterparts in higher animals and have been shown to function in similar ways. Our focus is on understanding how neuropeptides and neuropeptide receptors act to control behaviours such as muscle contraction (movement), metabolism (weight gain or loss), sleep/biological clock, and hormonal systems. The approaches we use include molecular biology (cloning and gene knockouts), genetics (phenotypes of mutants), microscopy (fluorescent gene expression, fluorescent dyes and immunocytochemistry) and biochemical analysis.
May take 2-3 students