Special Seminar (Biological Sciences/Neuroscience): Michael Perry, UCSD

Georgia Tech School of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience present:

The insect visual system as a model for neural development and evolution

Michael Perry, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)


July 12th, 2024, Friday, 11:00 AM -12:00 PM

Marcus Nanotechnology Building, seminar room 1117-1118


Animal genomes provide instructions for producing an amazing diversity of cell types during development, perhaps especially in the brain. One of the most surprising findings in the genome-sequencing era has been how few genes there are – only about 25,000 in most animal genomes regardless of their size or complexity. How do these genes interact during development to produce the incredible diversity of cell types? What kinds of genetic changes have allowed neural cell types to be modified or to increase in number across species over evolutionary time?

In order to address such questions, my lab uses the insect retina as a model to understand the genetic basis of neural cell type evolution. Insect eyes can be incredibly diverse in some ways and yet rigidly conserved in others. Compound eyes are highly recognizable given their characteristic structure. Yet these structures can vary in morphology and underlying organization in sometimes dramatic ways to help adapt insects to thrive in diverse environments around the worl