Lucia Prieto-Godino

Neural Circuits & Evolution Laboratory

The goal of the lab is to understand how evolution sculpts nervous systems, giving rise to novel behaviours.

Studying the evolutionary forces imposed on neural circuits can provide us with important insights on how brains work and what goes wrong in diseases.

However, we know little about the molecular, cellular and genetic mechanisms by which novel sensory evoked behaviours arise.

We address these questions harnessing the rich ecological diversity found within the Drosophila species complex, and using the olfactory system as our main model circuit.

We have a multidisciplinary approach, combining a variety of methodologies including field-work, bioinformatics, electrophysiology, imaging, behavioural analysis, and genetic manipulations.

Work undertaken by the Prieto-Godino lab

Figure 1. We work on different fly species of the genus Drosophila. On the top left, an electrophysiology trace from a recording of olfactory sensory neurons in response to an odour stimulus. In the middle, local interneurons and projection neurons downstream of a single olfactory receptor are labelled in the antennal lobe (equivalent to the mammalian olfactory bulb) of Drosophila sechellia through dye injection. Top right, a phylogenetic tree of acid sensing olfactory receptors in members of the Drosophila melanogaster species group. Bottom right, adult Drosophila optogenetics behavioural experiment. (Click to view larger image)

Selected publications

View a full list of publications.

Maia Chagas, A; Prieto-Godino, LL; Arrenberg, AB and Baden, T (2017)
The €100 lab: A 3D-printable open-source platform for fluorescence microscopy, optogenetics, and accurate temperature control during behaviour of zebrafish, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans.
PLOS Biology 15, e2002702  PubMed abstract

Prieto-Godino, LL; Rytz, R; Cruchet, S; Bargeton, B; Abuin, L; Silbering, AF; Ruta, V; Dal Peraro, M and Benton, R (2017)
Evolution of acid-sensing olfactory circuits in Drosophilids.
Neuron  93, 661-676 e666  PubMed abstract

Prieto-Godino, LL; Rytz, R; Bargeton, B; Abuin, L; Arguello, JR; Dal Peraro, M and Benton, R (2016)
Olfactory receptor pseudo-pseudogenes.
Nature  539, 93-97  PubMed abstract

Dispatch in Current Biology by Markus Stensmyr.

Interview with Lucia for Nature Podcast.

Prieto-Godino, LL; Diegelmann, S and Bate, M (2012)
Embryonic origin of olfactory circuitry in Drosophila: contact and activity-mediated interactions pattern connectivity in the antennal lobe.
PLOS Biology  10, e1001400  PubMed abstract


Lucia Prieto-Godino

  • Qualifications and history
  • 2011 PhD University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2012 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2018 Group Leader, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK