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.