Developmental biology and neurobiology are topically closely related to each other and to other biological and biomedical disciplines. Together these disciplines span the molecular, genetic and epigenetic, cell biological and physiological as well as behavioral and evolutionary research levels. In conjunction with revolutionary improvements in modern techniques this multidisciplinary approach has caused rapid knowledge gain during recent years. The neurodevelopmental groups at the IDN use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as model system to study the mechanisms that underlie cellular diversity, pattern formation in the nervous system, as well as the molecular mechanisms and functional relevance of central neuron differentiation. The neurobiology addresses glial development and neurogenerative processes in the mammalian system as well as the functions of neurons and circuits in behavioral control and the biochemical and epigenetic basis of learning and memory in the Drosophila model. Developmental biology groups focus on developmental epigenetics, non-coding RNAs, DNA repair, methylation, and reprogramming. Computational genomics are employed to classify neuronal signals and analyze the genetic and biochemical basis of neurodegenerative diseases.
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