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Drosophila Neuroscience Network


The King’s Drosophila Neuroscience Network (King's DNN) combines the experience and expertise of groups that use Drosophila melanogaster (common fruit flies) for fundamental and disease-related research.

Why use Drosophila for neuroscience research? 

  • Short lifecycle = shorter experiments/faster results
  • No Home Office licence required
  • Complex nervous system
  • Cheap to maintain
  • Unparalleled genetic tools
  • Easy to generate transgenic animals
  • 75% of human disease genes conserved in Drosophila
  • Neuron/neurotransmitters and glial types homologous to vertebrates
  • Sophisticated behavioural paradigms
  • Replacement of protected animals compliant with the 3Rs

Drosophila picture  NC3Rs logo

We use a range of cutting-edge technologies and platforms to harness the power of Drosophila as a model system. These have enabled us to make important discoveries in developmental and evolutionary neurobiology, brain ageing and neurodegenerative disease.

Brain BFK Logo-1

The aims of the King's DNN are:

  • To increase awareness of the power of Drosophila as a model system for neuroscience research.
  • To facilitate new collaborations between KCL researchers and other neuroscientists to use Drosophila as a model.
  • To generate new knowledge in basic and translational neuroscience.

We are located in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience on the Denmark Hill campus (Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience) and Guy’s campus (Department of Developmental Neurobiology and Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Disease). 


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Discover our world-class facilities

MRI scanning

MRI scanning

State-of-the-art neuroimaging equipment and techniques for translational and clinical research

Pre-clinical imaging

Pre-clinical imaging

Neuroimaging and spectroscopy equipment to investigate neurological and psychiatric conditions