Neuroengineering Laboratory

Latest research

Welcome to the Ramdya Lab, Firmenich Next Generation Chair of Neuroengineering

We are part of the Brain Mind Institute and Institute of Bioengineering in the School of Life Sciences. In the Neuroengineering Laboratory, we are reverse-engineering vinegar flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to better understand the mind and to design more intelligent robots. Flies are an ideal model for reverse-engineering: they generate complex behaviors, their nervous systems are small, and they are genetically malleable. Our lab develops and combines microscopy, machine learning, genetics, and computational models to address systems-level questions. Enjoy your visit!

Some of the tools we use

Recording neural activity during behavior

We combine genetics, 2-photon microscopy, and machine learning-based image analysis to establish links between neural activity and behavior. Relevant publications: Hermans, Kaynak et al., bioRxiv 2021, Chen, Hermans et al., Nature Communications 2018

Building computational models of Drosophila

We have developed computational simulations to capture the core neuromechanical mechanisms that orchestrate behavior. These models synthesize our biological data, generate predictions for future experiments, and inspire the development of bioinspired robotic controllers. Relevant publications: Lobato et al., Nature Methods, 2022, Ramdya, Thandiackal et al., Nature Communications, 2017

Drawing causal links between neuronal activity and behavior

We use deep-learning based pose estimation and optogenetic neuronal activation and silencing to quantify the causal links between neural activity and behavior. Relevant publications: Gosztolai, Günel et al. Nature Methods 2021, Günel et al. Elife 2019

Robotic experimental automation

We build robotic systems and computational data analysis pipelines to automate high-throughput biological experiments. This allows us to rapidly screen behavioral phenotypes. Relevant publications: Ramdya et al., Nature 2015, Maesani, Ramdya et al., PLoS Computational Biology 2015


Latest News

21-12-23: NeuroMechFly was accepted to Nature Methods
21-06-08: Matthias was awarded a Fondation Fyssen Postdoctoral Fellowship
21-05-14: Adam and Semih’s LiftPose3D software was accepted to Nature Methods
21-05-05: Gizem was awarded a Swiss Government Excellence PhD Fellowship
20-11-18: Jonas was awarded a Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD Fellowship
20-10-08: Chin-Lin published his recordings of ‘zombie’ neurons (a collaboration with Darren Williams lab), in Elife
20-03-26: Adam was awarded an HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship

19-09-29: Semih published his Drosophila 3D limb tracker, DeepFly3D, in Elife

19-07-02: Daniel was awarded a Eurotech Postdoctoral Fellowship

19-06-07: Florian was awarded the best presentation prize at the BMI retreat