Posted Thursday, May 26, 2016 4:46 PM
Bryan / College Station
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Hubert Amrein is a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Medicine. He received his B.S. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the University of Zürich in 1983, his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University in Zurich in 1989, under the guidance of Dr. Rolf Nöthiger. Following postdoctoral research in Dr. Tom Maniatis’s (Harvard University) and Dr. Richard Axel’s lab (Columbia University), he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at Duke University in 1998, where he received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005. Dr. Amrein joined the faculty at Texas A&M Health Science Center in September 2009.
Christopher Jagge, Ph.D., lab manager
Alex Broussard, B.S. candidate
Shinsuke Fujii, Ph.D, Associate Research Scientist
Tetsuya Miyamoto, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate
Ji-Eun Ahn, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate
Yan Chen, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dushyant Misra, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr. Amrein’s broad research interests are concerned with the sensory perception of the external chemical world. The central questions investigated in the laboratory are concerned with how animals detect and discriminate among the thousands of different chemical signals that “flood” the olfactory and taste organs. The laboratory uses Drosophila as a model to study these problems because the Drosophila chemosensory systems are structurally and functionally very similar to those of mammals, yet they are smaller and somewhat less complex, which makes them excellent models to investigate the molecular and neural basis of olfaction and taste.
The current focus of the lab is to determine the molecular and neural basis of sugar and amino acid perception. In addition, the laboratory seeks to identify and determine the role of pheromone receptors in social behaviors including, courtship and mating, egg laying, and aggression. A new and exciting line of studies involves the search for receptors and signaling molecules involved in auditory perception. Acoustic signals, along with pheromone cues, provide the major sensory input in the social interaction of Drosophila, as well as many other animals.
The laboratory takes advantage of all molecular and genetic tools available in the Drosophila model system, including classic genetic analysis, transgenesis, gene knock out studies using homologous recombination and all types of RNA and DNA analyses (microarray, qRT-PCR, Northern and Southern analysis etc). A variety of cellular and anatomical investigations of the chemosensory systems and the CNS using immunological methods (antibody staining etc), as well as in situ hybridization, are also employed. Finally, the functional analysis of genetically modified animals is pursued using numerous behavioral paradigms and electrophysiological assays.