My lab is interested in the way genes interact to control interesting processes in complex organisms, with particular emphasis on generation of complex behaviors and neural degeneration. We use the non-pathogenic fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model. Since a major fraction of critical genes, proteins, and developmental and neural mechanisms are conserved between flies and vertebrates, a substantial fraction of our findings are directly or indirectly informative about humans.
Much or our current work focuses on the gene and neural networks controlling sexual behavior and orientation. Since males and females generate sex-specific behaviors, this is a powerful system in which to dissect development of mutually exclusive behaviors.
I attended public schools in northern California before entering Stanford, where I worked with Phil Hanawalt on nucleoside metabolism in E. coli. As an NSF Fellow, I did my graduate work at the UC, San Diego, studying the actin multigene family of Dictyostelium with Rick Firtel. I began my studies of Drosophila sexual differentiation as a Helen Hay Whitney fellow with Bruce Baker. From there I joined the faculty of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where I served as an adjunct faculty member at UCSD and became a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences. In 2000 I came to Brown as a Professor of Medical Science.
MICHAEL MCKEOWN, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1981
On The Web:
Fly mutation suggests link to human brain disease
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