In her first talk, Cori Bargmann explains how individual genes can affect the brain and behavior. Humans are complex creatures, but as many as 99% of our genes are shared with simpler organisms. By focusing on the genes for a family of proteins found in many organisms, the G protein-coupled receptors, Bargmann illustrates that mutations in a single gene can cause significant behavioral changes in organisms as diverse as nematodes, dogs and humans. In Part 2, Bargmann presents work from her own lab in which the olfactory system in C. elegans was used to dissect the role of genes on behavior. She shows us how it was possible to map the neuronal circuits that modulate worm behavior in response to different odors.
Cori Bargmann received her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Georgia and her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bargmann began her studies on C. elegans during her post-doc with Bob Horvitz, also at MIT. She joined the University of California, San Francisco as an assistant professor in 1991, and moved to the… Continue Reading