The Clowney lab investigates developmental and regulatory mechanisms that generate neural circuits and govern their function, using the olfactory system of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model.
Remarkably, both flies and mammals use two parallel pathways to process olfactory signals: genetically determined neural circuits drive innate behaviors, while randomly wired circuits serve as sites of associative learning to shape flexible behaviors. Clowney is working to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms that produce these developmentally invariant vs. stochastic patterns of neuronal connectivity.
Josie Clowney joined MCDB in Fall 2017. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Ruta Lab at Rockefeller University. She did her Ph.D. with the Lomvardas Lab at the University of California, San Francisco. Her undergraduate work was at the University of Michigan where she majored in Cellular and Molecular Biology and did research with Cunming Duan.