Prof. Estee Kurant
Department of Human Biology
Multicellular organisms constantly remove unneeded cells through phagocytosis. Proper and efficient cell clearance is crucial for normal development and maintenance of a stable body. To understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of this evolutionarily conserved process, we employ the fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster as a powerful genetic model, which permits comprehensive mechanistic in vivo studies and provides a complement to more medical approaches in the field. We study the molecular basis of cell clearance with a particular interest in the role of glial phagocytosis in the establishment and function of the central nervous system (CNS). We anticipate our research to move forward the current knowledge about neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.