Information processing in neuroendocrine circuits
We study information processing in neuroendocrine networks that regulate organismal physiology in C. elegans. In particular, we investigate a new layer of computation in the nervous system mediated by regulated gene expression. Our work is multidisciplinary, involving engineers, biologists, and physicists. Using advanced genomic/genetic tools and stereotyped cellular anatomy in C. elegans as starting point, we exploit automated microscopy (based on microfluidics) to measure single neuron gene expression in single animals across large populations. We then apply diverse computational approaches to this large-scale multi-dimensional data. This unique combination of approaches allows us to address mechanistic questions about how environmental information is processed by neuroendocrine circuits to orchestrate physiological processes such as development and ageing.