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Ilona Grunwald Kadow

How internal states and needs shape perception and behaviour

Dr. Ilona Grunwald Kadow conducted her doctoral work in Neurobiology under Dr. Rüdiger Klein at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – Heidelberg (EMBL Heidelberg) and the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Neurobiology in Munich. After her postdoctoral training with Dr. Larry Zipursky at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she first became an Emmy Noether group leader and later a Max-Planck research group leader at the MPI of Neurobiology. Throughout her career, she has been recognized through distinctions such as the Otto-Hahn-Medal of the Max-Planck-Society, and the EMBO Young Investigator.

Now, Dr. Grunwald Kadow is a Professor at the Technical University of Munich, where she and her team strive to determine how the external environment and the internal state of an organism modulate its behaviour. Why is perception different between, say, the starved and the fed individual? What are the mechanisms underpinning their different choices? How are neuronal and neural computations affected by different states and experiences? They frame these questions in the context of chemosensation and chemoperception in the fly D. melanogaster, and address them at three levels: genes, neural networks, and behaviour. To achieve this, the lab makes use of an array of methodological approaches, including behavioural analyses, optogenetics, and in-vivo multiphoton microscopy.