Prof. Dr. Michael J. Pankratz

Group Leader
Genetics of nutrient control
Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES)
University of Bonn
Carl-Troll-Str. 31
53115 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 228 73 62740
Email: Pankratz(at)

Research Focus

Our lab is studying how the brain controls behavior and metabolism, using Drosophila as a model organism. We are focusing on the neural circuits that mediate feeding behavior, and the internal metabolic and external sensory factors that modulate feeding motor programs. A combination of genetic, behavioral, imaging and electrophysiological tools are being used to identify the feeding neural circuitry and to elucidate the central mechanisms by which specific motor programs are selected to achieve meaningful behavior.
Currently, a major goal is an elucidation of the complete synaptic connectivity pattern underlying the larval feeding system, i.e, the feeding connectome. In collaboration with labs at HHMI Janelia Research Campus, we are mapping the sensory inputs, and the motor and endocrine outputs of neurons involved in feeding, based on serial section transmission electron microscope reconstructions of the entire larval central nervous system. These include gustatory sensory neurons, pharyngeal motor neurons, neuroendocrine cells and higher order brain interneurons. By comparing these analyses with other model systems, we hope to identify fundamental functional or organizational principles of neural circuits
Nach oben scrollen