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Emma Theisen

Beginning in the womb and continuing until death, our brains conduct an orchestra of circuit activity, coordinated across billions of neurons through trillions of communication nodes called synapses. However, maintaining synapse function is energetically expensive, challenging the brain to match energy supply with demand. To dissect these mechanisms, I use tools uniquely available in the fruit fly to measure how neuronal energy consumption fluctuates in real time with changing activity demands. Using quantitative modeling from economics, I aim to understand the dynamics of supply and demand within single neurons. This project will shed light on how the neuronal economy is regulated, and how neurons coordinate metabolism in response to changing activity demands.