MEMBERS



Scott Pletcher, PhD
Principal Investigator
spletch@umich.edu

Our laboratory combines genetic, biochemical, and behavioral techniques to understand the nature of aging-related disease. We use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system and focus on evolutionarily conserved molecular pathways. Currently, we are studying genes involved in linking neurosensory function, diet, and immune function with aging and aging-related disease. We also seek to harness technological advancements in computational analysis and robotics to improve the capabilities and efficiency of high-throughput lifespan measurements.






David Paris

Research Laboratory Technician/Lab Manager
davidpar@med.umich.edu

Responsible for laboratory productivity, including Drosophila food preparation, controlled climate maintenance, automation development and maintenance, inventory control, and various arts and crafts related to assisting researchers with experimental methods. Received a Bachelors of Science Degree at Eastern Michigan University in May 2016. 







Christi Gendron, PhD

Research Investigator
gendronc@umich.edu 

The focus of my research is to discern the mechanism by which environmental cues impact fly lifespan and physiology. While specific cues may be species specific, the neuronal pathways utilized are likely conserved across species. I am also interested in how the brain integrates the information from different environmental cues and whether certain cues use similar or different neuronal networks. 






Jung-Eun Lee, PhD
 
Research Investigator
jungeunl@umich.edu

I'm interested in figuring out how dietary manipulations may affect immunity through metabolic and behavioral adaptation. My long-term goal is to come up with ideal diet regimes that strengthen the ability of animals to fight off infectious diseases, providing some insights into "healthy diets" for aging population. 







Brian Chung, PhD

Post-doctoral Fellow
chungby@umich.edu

Both sensory recognition processes and nutrient sensing pathways enable people, as well as animals, to make informative decisions that ultimately prove beneficial to their health and survival. Several labs, including ours, have demonstrated that perturbations to chemosensory receptivity or nutrient composition can induce profound effects on organismal lifespan. Despite our efforts, it remains unclear how either of these systems impinge upon downstream physiological and behavioral processes to alter aging.   Therefore, my research projects seek to identify and characterize central brain circuits and neural signaling substrates that mediate chemosensory and nutritional effects on physiology, behavior, and ultimately aging.



Tatyana Fedina, PhD

Post-doctoral Fellow
tfedina@umich.edu

I'm interested in sexual selection and evolution of life histories. While these topics have received substantial theoretical treatment, empirical progress so far has been mostly phenotypic studies at organismal and population levels. Insufficient effort has been made to gain mechanistic explanations of observed phenomena. Bridging the gap between evolutionary ecology and molecular physiology, we have recently discovered that insulin signaling within female body affects composition and sexual attractiveness of female cuticular pheromones via transcriptional regulation of genes encoding pheromone synthesis enzymes. My current work objective is to further dissect the molecular connections between insulin signaling and female attractiveness, and identify the role of this nutrient-sensing pathway in male reproductive physiology. 




Tuhin Chakraborty, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow
tchakrab@umich.edu

The olfactory system resembles other sensory system that translate sensory stimuli into perception and motivation. Previous work in our lab showed that exposure to food derived odorants reduces lifespan in Drosophila. Perception of nutrient quality therefore alter fly’s physiology. The long term goal of my research project seeks to understand the mechanism that link olfactory perception with physiological decision in general, and with aging in particular.






Yang Lyu, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow
yanglyu@umich.edu 
My long-term goal is to understand how courtship​ behavior is regulated and evolved in natural populations. Although the evolution of courtship​ behavior is considered as the Holy Grail of Darwinian evolution, little is known about the neurobiology underlying this process. As a starting point​, I will study​ neuropeptides ​and neuroreceptors ​that regulate​courtship behavior ​in fruit flies. I am particularly interested in how sexual motivation and reward mediate the mating preference of male fruit flies. This work will highlight the role of nervous system in several key evolutionary processes, such as speciation and adaptive evolution.






Yuan Luo, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow 
luoyuan@UMICH.EDU

My long-term goal is to understand how gastrointestinal microbes regulate host behaviors. Gut microbiota has been considered as another organ that provides benefits to its host including digestion, nutrient production, detoxification and immunity. Recent studies also show connections between gut microbiota and host nervous system, which called Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis. I am interesting to investigate if fly’s eating and oviposition behaviors are modulated by    gut microbiota, and to dissect mechanisms involve in.



Jacob Johnson
Graduate Student
johjacob@UMICH.EDU



 Sabine Hutter
SHUTTER@UMICH.EDU
Lakshmi Guduguntla 
GUDLAKSH@UMICH.EDU 
   

 Madeline DeMarco
MNDEMARC@UMICH.EDU
Zachary Hoisington
zachhois@umich.edu
       
     

 
 
Joshua
Joshua Tucker


Jan 
Gagstetter
 

Tosca Le
 

Danielle Chan


Joshua
        Haley Richardson              Marta Plumhoff                    Alia Meliki                      Payton Krause

Previous Lab Member
 Moved on to:
 Year
 Lindy Jensen
University of Michigan Graduate School, Student 2016
 Zachary Harvanek
 University of Michigan Medical School, Student 2016
   
 Kyrinna Wei
 Undergraduate Research Assistant
 2016
 Jenny Ro
 Harvard Medical School Cambridge Mass. Post-Doc. 2016
 Nate Juliar
 Laboratory Assistant
 2015
 Morsi Rayyan  Undergraduate Research Assistant  2015
 David Vargas
 Undergraduate Research Assistant
 2015
 Sam Inn
 Undergraduate Research assistant
 2015
 Emily Feuka  Undergraduate Research Assistant  2015
 Alex Standiford   Undergraduate Research Assistant  2015
 Ceyda Bilgir Veterinary Medicine at UCDavis Student 2014
 Jeffrey Noble II  Undergraduate Research Assistant  2014
 Michael Waterson, Ph.D.  Postdoctoral Fellow at Horvath Lab at Yale University.  2014
 Katie Marney  Self Employed, German Democratic Republic  2014
 Nancy Linford, Ph.D.  Iceland  2014
 Nathan Hyuck  Undergraduate Assistant  2014
 Nick Asher  Graduated  2014
 Kathleen Abenes  Undergraduate Assistant  2014
 Peter Paquet  Undergraduate Assistant  2014
 Kylie Miller  WMU Stryker School of Medicine Student  2013
 Shivani Deshmukh  Undergraduate Assistant  2013
 Stephen Stark  UROP Student- Mechanical Engineering  2013
 Gloria Pak  Undergraduate Assistant  2013
 Tammy Chan, Ph.D.  Graduate Student  2013
 Amanda Sanders  Undergraduate Assistant  2013
 Pooja Sivakumar  Undergraduate Assistant  2013
 Greg Wnuk  Graduate School- UM School of Public Health  2013
 Filip Ancevski  Volunteer  2012
 Ingrid Hansen, MS  Graduate Student  2012
 Lisa Johnson, Ph.D.  Research Laboratory Technician Associate  2012
 Rinoa Yoon  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Kristen Shirey  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Grace Eunhyae Hwang  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Azra Dervisefendic  Research Technician (now at Wang Lab, Baylor College of Medicine)  
 Tsung-Han Kuo, Ph.D.  Postdoctoral Fellow, Stower Lab, Scripps La Jolla, CA  
 Hadise Kabil, Ph.D.  Post-doctoral fellow  2011
 Louis Standiford  Undergraduate Student  
 Emily Wang  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Trisha Paul  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Jessica Eakin  Fly Kitchen Boss  
 Yuzhong (Ricky) Liu  UROP Student  
 Amanda Rutishauser  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Weixiong (Max) Zheng  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Joshua Abramson  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Kellie Lee Watkins  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Trevor Brooks  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Zach Petroni  Undergraduate Assistant  
 Steve Wilson  Undergraduate Student  
 Sergiy Libert, Ph.D.  Graduate Student (now Postdoctoral Fellow, Guarente Lab, MIT) libert@mit.edu  
 Danielle Skorupa, Ph.D.  Graduate Student (now Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Florida) dskorupa@bcm.edu  
 Peter Poon, Ph.D.  Post-doctoral fellow (now Postdoctoral Fellow, UCAL) ppoon@gmail.com  
 Jessica Zweiner  Medical Student, University of Texas