Dr Matthieu Louis

has dual training in physics and biology. The Louis lab has three main research
interests related to innate orientation behaviours:

(i) computer-aided quantification of behaviour;

(ii) mapping and functional characterisation of the circuits controlling the sensorimotor integration of olfactory signals;

(iv) neural computation underlying multisensory integration.

The work of the Louis lab has advanced our understanding of how odours are represented and processed in the larval nervous system. A major part of its research efforts consists in analyzing the sensorimotor algorithm controlling larval chemotaxis. The PI has developed a novel spectroscopy-based technique to accurately measure odor intensities in time and space [100]. The PI has also demonstrated that larval chemotaxis proceeds from an accurate reorientation mechanism that does not rely on the bilateral comparison of olfactory inputs [100]. More recently, the group used high-resolution tracking to establish that larval chemotaxis results from a process of active sampling analogous to sniffing in vertebrates [49]. This finding indicates that larval chemotaxis represents an intermediate navigation
strategy between the biased random walks of bacteria and the stereo-olfaction observed in vertebrates. Work from the Louis lab has been reviewed in Frontiers in Neuroscience and Current Opinion in Neurobiology [101], [102]

The Louis lab is engaged in a visitor program with the HHMI-Janelia Farm Research Campus (Ashburn, US). In collaboration with Vivek Jayaraman, Dr. Louis devised an optogenetic-based method to characterize and control the activity of larval olfactory sensory neurons and a closed-loop tracker to study chemotaxis behaviour in virtual olfactory realities. In addition, the Louis lab has been in charge of conducting a high-throughput loss-of-function screen to study the innate odour-driven behaviours in the context of the Larval Olympiad project.
Research of the Louis lab is funded by several national grants and an HFSP research grant. Dr Louis is the coordinator of a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) financed by the FP7 framework
(FLiACT). Together with Dr Gerber, Dr Louis organised the 2010 ESF-EMBO
symposium entitled “Functional Neurobiology in Minibrains: From Flies to Robots and Back Again.”

Dr. Louis’s Homepage

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