Martha J. Lundell, Ph.D.
Areas of Specialization
- Drosophila molecular genetics
- specification of neuronal cell fate
Ph.D. in Biochemistry; University of California, Los Angeles
B.A. in Biochemistry; University of Colorado
B.A. in Molecular Biology; University of Colorado
The research in Dr. Lundell’s lab is primarily focused on how neurons in the central nervous system of Drosophila acquire unique cell fates during development. In particular, they are examining the genetic pathway that leads to the specification of neurons that synthesize serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter conserved throughout the animal kingdom and has been associated with locomotion, learning, memory and several human neural disorders.
The Drosophila serotonin cell lineage includes six cells: two serotonin producing neurons, a neuron that produces the neuropeptide corazonin, a motor neuron, and two cells that undergo apoptosis. The lab has characterized a number of genes that are essential in specifying these different cell fates and are investigating the genetic interactions between these genes.
The Lundell Lab uses a combination of genetics, molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and behavior paradigms to study the genes that regulate neurogenesis in Drosophila.
Click here for a list of publications.