Mark Frye*

(310) 825-5360

Terasaki Life Science



Director, Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology GPB Home Area
Professor, Integrative Biology and Physiology, Neurobiology
Member, Brain Research Institute, Neuroscience GPB Home Area

Research Interests

How are flexible and robust animal behaviors orchestrated by the nervous system? Different forms of this general question have occupied neuroscientists for decades. Great strides have been made toward describing the mechanisms of nervous system function, and our next challenge is to examine how the basic elements are integrated with other physiological systems to produce complex behavior. My lab seeks to push forward our understanding of the physiological processes that enable animals to navigate through widely varying sensory landscapes. We focus on flying insects (particularly flies) because they exhibit extremes in performance unrivaled in the animal kingdom. Physiological specializations such as the fastest visual systems and most powerful muscles tend to magnify structure-function relationships, making flies well suited for studying complex behavior at multiple levels of organization. Using techniques drawn from the fields of neurobiology and biomechanics, we study how the activity of sensory neurons, interneurons, and motoneurons control wing motions, aerodynamic forces, and resultant free flight behavior.


Dr. Frye began his research career at Union College, then received his PhD at the University of Washington. As a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley and Caltech, he worked on multi-sensory processing and motor control of flight in fruit flies. He is currently a member of the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, and teaches courses in comparative animal physiology and sensory transduction. He has been awarded a Sloan Foundation Fellowship and HHMI Early Career Investigator. His laboratory examines visual and multisensory control of behavior in fruit flies using virtual reality, optogenetics, and in-vivo imaging approaches. 


A selected list of publications: