Annika F. Barber
Assistant Professor
Department: Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Email: annika.barber@gmail.com
Rutgers University
Waksman Institute. Room 234
190 Frelinghuysen Rd Piscataway, NJ 08854
Piscataway. NJ 08854-0759
Key Words: Neural signal integration in Drosophila behavioral circuits

How do you decide when to eat? Or sleep? Or exercise? Organisms must make behavioral decisions based on an array of both internal state cues (like hunger or time of day) and external environmental cues (like availability of food or temperature). The Drosophila pars intercerebralis is a “hub” brain region that receives information about both internal state and environmental cues, and then releases an array of neuropeptides that influence fly behavior. My lab works to decode the biological basis of decision making at the molecular, cellular, and circuit levels using behavioral genetics, electrophysiology and live brain imaging. In particular, we aim to understand how neuromodulatory peptides acting within and beyond the pars intercerebralis alter neural circuit function and regulate survival behaviors like sleep, circadian rhythms, and feeding.