Philipsborn Group

Philipsborn group - Behavioral genetics and circuit neuroscience

The Philipsborn  group focuses their research on how the nervous system generates and controls behaviour, using the fruitfly Drosophila as a model organism. Future work will include using Drosophila as a model system for understanding molecular and cellular aspects of neurodegenerative diseases. 

Research focus

The main research focus has been on male courtship behaviour. During courtship, male flies send an acoustic signal, the courtship song, by extending and vibrating one wing toward the female. We have identified sex-specific neurons which control and shape this behavior (von Philipsborn, A.C., Liu, T., Yu, J.Y., Masser, C., Bidaye, S.S., and Dickson, B.J. (2011). Neuronal control of Drosophila courtship song. Neuron 69, 509-522). Future work on this model behaviour and its underlying neuronal circuit will address general mechanisms for motor pattern generation, the development of sexual dimorphisms as well as sensorimotor integration and decision making.

Furthermore, we are interested in engaging in new collaborations at Aarhus University and in employing Drosophila as a model system for understanding molecular and cellular aspects of neurodegenerative disease.

Available projects

The Philipsborn group has projects available for Master, Bachelor and Erasmus students. Please contact Group Leader Anne von Philipsborn directly, if interested.
See possible projects here

A Drosophila male sings to a female by extending and vibrating one wing (Photo: Solvin Zankl). The Drosophila central nervous system with three neuronal classes (blue, red, green), which control courtship behavior and song generation.


2018.03.15 | People

Atakan Selte is new Erasmus student in Philipsborn Group

Atakan is a medical student from Istanbul University and he will be in the Philipsborn Lab till July. He will investigate Drosophila mate choice strategies with behavioural assays and genetic tools. Furthermore he will be involved in developing a Drosophila model for ATPase mutations causing neurological diseases.

Photo: Colourbox

2018.02.07 | Research news

Genes affect human personality, but only in more demanding climates

The surprising findings are the result of a new joint publication entitled ‘Dopamine genes are linked to Extraversion and Neuroticism personality traits, but only in demanding climates’ by AIAS Former Fellows Machteld N. Verzijden (DANDRITE/Bioscience) and Ronald Fischer (Psychology) and co-author Anna Lee.

2018.02.06 | AnnevonPhilipsborn

Francesca Barbieri is new ERASMUS intern in Philipsborn Group

Graduated in 2017 in biotechnology at the University of Pavia, Francesca is now started as intern in Philipsborn Group. She is interested in neurogenetics, and performing specific genetic techniques in order to access GABAergic neurons and functionally test their role in the Drosophila courtship song patterning. Francesca is also planning to start…

2017.12.11 | People

Krista van den Heuvel is new Trainee in Philipsborn Group

Krista will be investigating the neuronal circuit mechanisms that underlie courtship behaviour and reward in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

2017.09.27 | Research news

Anne von Philipsborn and Bárður Eyjólfsson Ellendersen publish a review article in Insect Science

D. melanogaster sexual behavior was first described by A.H. Sturtevant in 1915. Today, a hundred years later, scientists are still learning about neuroscience by studying this behavior. Our review focuses on findings in circuit neuroscience that have been made within the last two years using D. melanogaster sexual behavior as…

2017.09.14 | People

Machteld Verzijden is new postdoc in Philipsborn Group

Machteld Verzijden is new postdoc in Anne von Philipsborn's group from September 15th. She will be investigating the neurological mechanism of how sugar consumption affects male mating success in Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies.  

2017.07.10 | People

Lasse Østerhaab Sell is Student Assistant in Philipsborn Group

Lasse is new Student Assistant in Anne von Philipsborn's group per July 1st. Duties of the student job include preparation of Drosophila food, autoclaving Drosophila waste and help with maintenance of Drosophila stock.

2017.05.10 | People

Per Rosing Mogensen is new IT employee in Philipsborn Group

Per started in Anne's group from April 15th. He will work with data analysis, scientific computing, scientific visualization and illustration.

Photo: PhD student Milena Laban (left)

2017.05.02 | Events

DANDRITE attended this year's Festival of Research in Aarhus on April 27

As usual DANDRITE attended the Festival of Research. It was a busy and enjoyable day where group leaders and students from DANDRITE demonstrated their research areas to the general Danish public. Four labs where represented: Anne von Philipsborn lab, Poul Henning Jensen lab, Mark Denham lab and Poul Nissen Lab.

(Copyright: Colourbox)
Sadegh Nabavi (Photo: private)
Mark Denham (Photo: private)
Anne von Philipsborn (Photo: DANDRITE)
Duda Kvitsiani (Photo: DANDRITE)
Keisuke Yonehara (Photo: DANDRITE)

2015.05.29 | People

Top team of Group leaders now complete at DANDRITE

DANDRITE’s aim of appointing five top researchers as Group leaders has just become a reality with the appointment of Dr Sadegh Nabavi, whose research includes how memory is formed, how it can be erased, and how it can subsequently be restored.

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