JOSH DUBNAU, Professor (Primary appointment: Department of Anesthesiology)
PhD Columbia University
Dr. Josh Dubnau received his PhD in 1995 from Columbia University, Dept. of Genetics and Development. He then did post-doctoral research at Cold Spring Harbor Lab with Prof. Tim Tully and then started his own research group at CSHL in 2002. In 2016, Dr. Dubnau moved his group to Stony Brook, where he is now a Professor in the Anesthesiology Department with a joint appointment in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. Dr. Dubnau's PhD work, postdoctoral work, and most of the work in his lab make use of fruit flies as a model organism. When Dr. Dubnau was an undergraduate, he worked on phermone perception in the gypsy moth. And as a child, he often played with ants. So a common theme in Dr. Dubnau's life and training has been bugs.
There are two major areas of research in my lab. First, we use the available toolbox for genetic manipulation in Drosophila melanogaster to uncover mechanistic underpinnings of olfactory guided behaviors Pavlovian olfactory task, with a strong emphasis on understanding the organization of neural circuits and the genes that function within them. The second major focus is to investigate a novel mechanism that we have proposed to underlie amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We have accumulated evidence to support the idea that some age related brain disorders such as ALS and FTLD involve activation of retrotransposons, which are viral like genetic entities that make up approximately 40% of the human genome. Our work on ALS/FTLD relies on a multidisciplinary approach that includes in vivo genetic experiments in animal models, analysis of post mortem human tissue, and cell culture assays.