Davis Lab People

Principal Investigator: Graeme W Davis PhD

Graeme W Davis PhD

I began studies of homeostatic signaling in the nervous system when I was a postdoctoral fellow, long before this was a popular sub-field in neuroscience, and we have been working in this area ever since. Along the way, we have helped to advance the understanding of how homeostatic signaling systems are able to modulate presynaptic neurotransmitter release. Most recently, we have pioneered electrophysiology-based forward genetic screens as a means to identify new homeostatic plasticity genes. In many respects, my laboratory has been developed and is organized precisely to accomplish the experiments that are proposed in this grant. We are experienced in all the necessary techniques of electrophysiology, calcium imaging, analysis of synapse morphology and electron microscopy.

BA - Biology, Williams College, Williamstown MA

PhD- University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA, Advisor: Rodney K. Murphey

Post Doc - University of California, Berkeley CA, Advisor: Corey S. Goodman



Lab Manager

Gama Ruiz

I take care of supporting the research in the lab. I prepare different media plates and cook the fly food for the laboratory. I am also helping with the large ­scale genetic screen for GFP fusion proteins.


Executive Assistant (temp)

Lori Wood

I support Grae in his role as Chair of the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department as well as supporting his lab. This can mean many things--from websites to organizing meetings and events like the Mission Bay Lecture Series- all fun things!

BA - Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA


Post Docs

Kevin Ford PhD

BS -Biology, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA

PhD -Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA


Michael Gavino PhD

BS -Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

PhD -Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Özgür Genç PhD

BS -General Biology, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

MS -Neuroscience, Bosphorus University, Istanbul, Turkey

PhD -Neuroscience, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland


Alyssa Johnson PhD

BS -Chemistry, Hope College, Holland, MI

PhD -Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN


Brian O'neal Orr PhD

BS -Molecular Biology, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, FL

PhD -Integrative Biology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL


Tingting Wang PhD

I am interested in molecular mechanisms underlying homeostatic control of synaptic function. Currently I am working on genes that potentially function as retrograde signaling molecules during trans-synaptic homeostatic modulation of neurotransmitter release at Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ).

BS - Biological Sciences, Tsinghua University, Haidian, Beijing, China

PhD - Neurobiology, Duke University, Durham, NC


Academic Specialists

Ling Cheng PhD

I am interested in using Drosophila neuromuscular junction as a model to understand the mechanism of neurodgeneration in motor neuron diseases.

BS - Biology, Tsinghua University, Haidian, Beijing, China

PhD -Neuroscience, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Post Doc- Graeme W Davis Lab, UCSF, San Francisco, CA


Amy Tong PhD

My primary role in the Davis lab is to create DNA constructs that are used to generate transgenic flies.

BS - Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, UC Davis, Davis, CA

PhD - Genetics, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA



Nathan Harris

I am fascinated by the ability of neurons to homeostatically maintain synaptic strength in the face of perturbations, and the intricate molecular and genetic pathways required to support such a robust and precise system. I am studying the surprising role of neuronal innate immune signaling in synaptic homeostasis.

BA - Neuroscience Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

PhD candidate - Neuroscience, UCSF, San Francisco, CA


Anna Hauswirth

In my joint MD-PhD, I hope to combine neuroscience research on the normal and degenerating synapse with treatment of patients with neurological diseases, such as ALS. In the Davis Lab, I'm studying how degeneration and synaptic homeostasis interact. My goal is to use the fruit fly to better understand how neurodegeneration affects synaptic physiology at the neuromuscular junction- how does a motor neuron try to maintain firing patterns while degenerating, and what are the consequences of this attempted compensation? When I'm not pursuing massive amounts of education to postpone having a real job, I love cooking, running, and eating chocolate.

BS -Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

MD and PhD candidate- Medical Scientist Training Program and Neuroscience Graduate Program, UCSF, San Francisco, CA


Kenton Hokanson

BA -Psychology, Pomona College, Claremont, CA

PhD candidate- UCSF, San Francisco, CA


Cody Locke

In the Davis Laboratory, I am investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie homeostatic potentiation of neurotransmitter release at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions. Through this research, I have uncovered homeostatic roles for a number of synaptic proteins and have just begun to understand how these factors cooperate to maintain a set point level of excitability. It is my hope that these studies will ultimately lead to improved treatments or perhaps even cures for devastating neurological disorders, including epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia. In my spare time, I enjoy long hikes, Giants baseball, Crimson Tide football, cheap protein shakes, and refreshing power naps.

BS - Biological Sciences, Minor in Computer-Based Honors Program, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

PhD candidate- Neuroscience, UCSF San Francisco, CA - National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow



Martin Mueller PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Zurich
Kreuzstrasse 43 CH-8008
Zürich, Switzerland

Meg Younger, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
The Rockefeller University, Vosshall Lab
Lab tel. 212-327-7139