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Homeostatic control of olfaction and taste

Research group Our group is interested in the essential regulatory processes that control and maintain neuronal activity and which malfunction cause diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.

As a model, we investigate the olfactory and taste systems, which have a simple cellular logic that is conserved from flies to humans. Our approach is to do the discoveries in the experimentally highly accessible and numerical simple fruit fly system and to establish the evolutionary conservation of the identified mechanisms in the much more elaborate mouse system. We take a multidisciplinary experimental approach, including Drosophila and mouse genomic tools, single cell approaches, behavior analysis, biochemistry and live cell imaging in combination with cryo-EM and cutting-edge neuroscience methodologies.

Several conceptually diverse projects are currently being pursued, including investigation of feedback mechanisms that balance the neuronal activity level, paracrine and autocrine signals that maintain neuronal communication level, external modulation of network function.

Head of research


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Molecular Biology

Research area

Molecular biology and genetics, Neurosciences


BMC Biology, BioMed Central (BMC) 2024, Vol. 22, (1)
Dzaki, Najat; Alenius, Mattias
Cell Reports, Elsevier 2023, Vol. 42, (11)
Zhao, Yunpo; Johansson, Emilia; Duan, Jianli; et al.
Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group 2022, Vol. 13, (1)
Zhao, Yunpo; Khallaf, Mohammed A.; Johansson, Emilia; et al.
Cell and Tissue Research, Springer 2021, Vol. 83, (1) : 143-148
Jafari, Shadi; Alenius, Mattias
PLoS biology, Public Library of Science 2021, Vol. 19, (4)
Jafari, Shadi; Henriksson, Johan; Yan, Hua; et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, National Academy of Sciences 2017, Vol. 114, (44) : E9386-E9394
Maurya, Devendra Kumar; Bohm, Staffan; Alenius, Mattias
Cell Reports, CELL PRESS 2016, Vol. 14, (3) : 464-470
Sanchez, Gonzalo Manuel; Alkhori Franzén, Liza; Hatano, Eduardo; et al.
Sugar boosts cravings for fat

How our desires are controlled - study on fruit flies confirms scientists' theory.

Latest update: 2022-03-14