This lecture course focuses on one of the key fields in modern neurobiology, neurogenetics, which attempts to unravel the genetic basis of brain structure, brain development and behaviour. The course mostly refers to the simple model organism Drosophila but also establishes crucial links with the nematode C. elegans and mammalian model system such as mouse. The course makes participants familiar with the essentials of classical developmental genetics, with contemporary genetic and neurobiological methods in Drosophila, C.elegans and Mouse. It highlights modern neurogenetic research: neurogenesis, brain regionalization, tissue specification, biological rhythms, learning and memory and mechanosensations. The course will also focus on disease models for neuronal degeneration and neural tumorigenesis. The expertise obtained in this course should enable students to appreciate the potential of animal model systems to understand the links between genes, neurons, nervous system and behaviour under normal and disease conditions. It should help to initiate neurobiological research projects, such as a master's thesis or a Ph.D. thesis, in model organisms.
This course is a part of the MSc specialization in Neuro- and Developmental Biology jointly operated by the Universities of Bern and Fribourg and sponsored by the Swiss University Conference (CUS/SUK).