I'm interested in all aspects of molecular neurobiology with a special focus on G protein-coupled receptors and their signal transduction. My current research is concentrating on insect endocrinology. We identify, clone and express new "orphan" GPCRs from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and other insects in different cell lines and identify their endogenous ligands (e.g. new neuropeptides or hormones) using promiscous or chimeric G-proteins and bioluminescence assays to monitor cellular responses. Thereby, we discover new ligand-receptor pairs regulating development, reproduction or behavior of insects.
A second line of my research interest are the identification and characterization of new neuropeptides and their processing enzymes in lower invertebrates, e.g. in Hydra or sea anemones.