Michael Pankratz
Prof. Dr. Michael Pankratz
  • Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES)
Research topics
  • neural circuits
  • feeding behavior
  • Drosophila
  • connectomics
Our lab is studying how the brain controls behavior and metabolism, using Drosophila as a model organism. We are focusing on the neural circuits that mediate feeding behavior, and the internal metabolic and external sensory factors that modulate feeding motor programs. A combination of genetic, behavioral, imaging, electrophysiological, computational and connectomic tools are being used to identify the feeding neural network and to elucidate the central mechanisms by which specific motor programs are selected to achieve meaningful behavior. Our goal here is to develop a holistic understanding of the dynamics governing the large feeding network derived from dense connectome data by formalizing functional in-depth analysis of small circuits/network motifs and large-scale approaches, such as whole brain imaging, into computational models.
Selected publications

Miroschnikow A, Schlegel P, Pankratz M (2020) Making feeding decisions in the Drosophila nervous system. Current Biology 2020 Jul 20;30(14):R831-R840.

Miroschnikow A, Schlegel P, Schoofs A, Hückesfeld S, Li F, Schneider-Mizell C, Fetter R, Truman J, Cardona A, Pankratz M (2018) Convergence of monosynaptic and polysynaptic sensory paths onto common motor outputs in a feeding connectome. Elife 2018 Dec 11;7.

Schlegel P, Texada M, Miroschnikow A, Schoofs A, Hückesfeld S, Peters M, Schneider-Mizell C, Lacin H, Li F, Fetter R, Cardona A, Pankratz M (2016) Synaptic transmission parallels neuromodulation in a central food-intake circuit. Elife 5, e16799.

Hückesfeld S, Peters M, Pankratz M (2016). Central relay of bitter taste to the protocerebrum by peptidergic interneurons in the Drosophila brain. Nature Communications 7.

Michael Pankratz
Prof. Dr. Michael Pankratz
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