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The central theme of my research program is the functioning of the nervous system, using insects as experimental models.  We are establishing the mechanisms by which the nervous system communicates information; examining hormonal, synaptic, and modulatory mechanisms, using neurophysiological, neurochemical, endocrinological, and molecular biological techniques.  The questions we are asking are fundamentally important for all nervous systems:  How can a neuron transmit information to a target cell?  What types of chemicals act as the transmitters for this information and how are these chemical messages translated by the target cell?  How can this information be modulated and coordinated to produce an appropriate behaviour in the animal?  In particular, we are interested in the role of peptides and amines as neurohormones, released into the blood to co-ordinate activities of diverse groups of tissues, and as neuromodulators, modulating the ongoing activities of distinct pathways.

You are invited to watch this Mediasite presentation: RCI 619M - The Kiss of Death: Rhodnius as a Vector of Chagas' Disease

Description: Rhodnius prolixus, the kissing bug, is a blood-feeding insect found in Central and South America.  Rhodnius is one of the vectors for the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that causes Chagas' disease in humans.  This talk will examine the physiological and endocrinological aspects of Rhodnius that leads to the transmission of this disease, using data from its recently sequenced genome.
Date recorded: Thursday, March 03, 2011
Time: 7:30 PM
Duration: 1:00:35