Barry Ganetzky

Barry Ganetzky
Emeritus Professor

Ph.D., University of Washington, 1976
Postdoctoral Research: California Institute of Technology 

Address: 4120 Genetics/Biotech

Telephone: 608-263-2404


Department: Genetics and Medical Genetics

Research Interests

Discovery and characterization of genetic and molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic growth, maintenance, and repair.

Research Fields

Disease Biology
Cell Biology
Neuro & Behavioral Genetics

Research Description:

Our work focuses on using a genetic approach to dissect the molecular mechanisms of electrical signaling in the nervous system. We have isolated a number of mutations in Drosphila that perturb nerve impulses or synaptic transmission and we have analyzed these mutations using genetic, electrophysiological, histological, and molecular techniques. These studies have generated novel information about the structure, function, and regulation of key proteins such as ion channels and proteins required for neurotransmitter release. We are now using the same strategy to investigate the molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic growth and plasticity as well as those required to maintain normal neuronal viability. 

Representative Publications:

Search PubMed for more publications by Barry Ganetzky

Cirelli, C., Bushey, D., Hill, S., Huber, R., Kreber, R., Ganetzky, B. and G. Tononi. 2005. Drosophila Shaker mutants with minimal sleep. Nature 434, 1087-1092.

Fergestad, T., Ganetzky, B. and M. J. Palladino. 2006. Neuropathology in Drosophila membrane excitability mutants. Genetics 172:1031-1042.

Cardnell, R. J. G., Dalle, D. E. Ganetzky, B. and M. Stern. 2006. In vivo analysis of a gain-of-function mutation in the Drosophila eag-encoded K+ channel. Genetics 172:2351-2358.

Fergestad, T., Bostwick, B. and B. Ganetzky. 2006. Metabolic disruption in Drosophila bang-sensitive seizure mutants. Genetics 173:1357-1364.

Gnerer, J. P. P., Kreber, R. A. and B. Ganetzky. 2006. wasted away, a Drosophila mutation in triosephosphate isomerase causes paralysis, neurodegeneration, and early death. PNAS 103:14987-14993.

Fergestad, T., Olson, L., Patel, K. P., Miller, R., Palladino, M. J. and B. Ganetzky. 2008. Neuropathology in Drosophila mutants with increased seizure susceptibility. Genetics 178:947-956.

O’Connor-Giles, K. M., Ho, L. L. and B. Ganetzky. 2008. Nervous wreck interacts with Thickveins and the endocytic machinery to attenuate retrograde BMP signaling during synaptic growth. Neuron 58:507-518.

Shen, W. and B. Ganetzky. 2009. Autophagy promotes synapse development in Drosophila. J. Cell Biol. 87:71-79.

Fergestad, T., Sale, H., Bostwick, B., Schaffer, A., Ho, L., Robertson, G. A. and B. Ganetzky. 2010. A Drosophila behavioral mutant, down and out (dao), is defective in an essential regulator of Erg potassium channels. PNAS 107:5617-5621.

Chen, X. and B. Ganetzky. 2012. A neuropeptide signaling pathway regulates synaptic growth in Drosophila. J Cell Biol. 196:529-543.

Campbell, M. and G. Ganetzky. 2012. Extensive morphological divergence and rapid evolution of the larval neuromuscular junction in Drosophila. PNAS109:E648-55. Epub 2012 Feb 21