Yao Lab

University of Florida

We use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model to study how neural circuits in the brain integrate external sensory information (such as taste) and internal states (such as hunger) to regulate feeding and energy balance.

The advanced genetic tools and whole-brain connectome available in Drosophila offer an exciting opportunity for us to study how neural circuits form and function with single-cell precision. Our research combines a broad range of approaches, including intersectional genetics, in vivo live imaging, optogenetics, connectomics, and quantitative behavioral analysis, providing diverse training opportunities for students and postdocs.

We invite you to learn more about our current research.

Drosophila feeding on a banana (Sanjay Acharya, Wikimedia Commons)

In vivo two-photon calcium imaging in conjunction with optogenetics

Reconstruction of serotonergic neurons in the Drosophila whole-brain connectome