Dr. Durafshan Sakeena Syed is a postdoctoral research fellow studying the role of inhibitory and descending neurons in generating sequential actions during grooming in fruit flies. She received PhD from National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (NCBS-TIFR), Bangalore, India and worked on a collaborative project with Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland studying the mechanisms involved in the development of motor neuron architecture required for walking in fruit flies. She has a decade of research experience in genetics and neurobiology, worked on various research projects studying the mechanism involved in the cross talk between neurons and glia in the brain, and muscles and motor neurons in the periphery during development to enable locomotion and flight in fruit flies. Awarded fellowship from Department of Biotechnology, Government of India to pursue Master of Science in Biotechnology from University of Kashmir with research experience in Plant Biotechnology at Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India.
How the nervous system controls the assembly of flexible behavior sequences remains largely unknown. A network of interneurons receives and processes the information collected by sensory neurons from the environment, and sends commands to motor neurons to generate various motor patterns. We study how specific inhibitory circuits and descending neurons coordinate the choice of actions and coordination between legs two perform grooming in the fruit fly.