Genetic dissection of sexual behaviour


  • Prof Stephen F Goodwin

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Professor Goodwin uses the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to study the genetic determinants of sex-specific neural circuits and behaviours. He is particularly interested in the transcription factors fruitless and doublesex, which act together to specify and configure the anatomy and physiology of sex-specific neural circuitry. During this award, Professor Goodwin will use cutting-edge genetic, molecular and behavioural techniques to determine the principles that govern how fruitless and doublesex direct the assembly of neural circuits. He also plans to elucidate the neural circuits in the fly that encode sex-specific behaviours such as their distinctive courtship ritual. The research will significantly increase our understanding of how 'maleness' and 'femaleness' develop.