Ronald Davis

Ronald Davis, Ph.D.

Professor, Neuroscience

Department: SR-NEURO-DAVIS LAB
Business Phone: (561) 228-3463
Business Email: ronalddavis@ufl.edu

About Ronald Davis

Related Links:
Additional Positions:
Co-Chair, Neuroscience
2017 – 2018 · Scripps Research
Chairman, Neuroscience
2009 – 2017 · Scripps Research
Director, Center for Memory & Learning
2007 – 2009 · Baylor College of Medicine
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
1999 – 2007 · Baylor College of Medicine
Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
1998 – 2009 · Baylor College of Medicine
Professor, Departments of Molecular & Cellular Biology; Genetics; and Neuroscience
1993 – 2009 · Baylor College of Medicine
Senior Staff Scientist
1991 – 1993 · Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Adjunct Associate Professor of Cell Biology
1991 – 1993 · Baylor College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Neuroscience
1987 – 1991 · Baylor College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Cell Biology
1987 – 1991 · Baylor College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
1987 – 1987 · Michigan State University
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
1983 – 1987 · Michigan State University
Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Biology with Dr. Norman Davidson
1979 – 1982 · California Institute of Technology

Research Profile

We are interested in the brain and how memories are formed, stabilized, and retrieved. We are also interested in the human diseases that affect learning and memory, including Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and ADHD. We study learning and memory at the genetic level to understand the structure, regulation, evolution and biological function of genes that are required for normal learning and memory. Studies at the cellular level help us to understand how the gene products involved in learning and memory mediate physiological changes in the neurons that encode memories. We also focus effort at the level of anatomy to understand the pathways of information flow in the brain for normal learning to occur, and at the behavioral level to probe the complexities of memory formation.

Numerous genes important for learning in Drosophila have been studied extensively. Some of these include dunce, rutabaga, DCO, and CREB. Flies defective in the expression of any of these genes exhibit poor memory formation for olfactory conditioning tasks. Molecular cloning has demonstrated that dunce codes for the enzyme, cAMP phosphodiesterase; rutabaga codes for adenylyl cyclase; DCO codes for the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A, and CREB a transcription factor that is phosphorylated and activated by protein kinase A. These results demonstrate that the cAMP signaling system is critical for altering the physiological state of the neurons that mediate this type of learning. Other studies have shown that a family of proteins called 14-3-3 are involved in learning along with interesting cell adhesion molecules of the integrin family and the immunoglobulin superfamily. Moreover, we have studied several biogenic amine receptors, including dopamine receptors that are involved in the acquisition of initial memories. By studying the expression of these genes, the neurons that mediate learning have been identified. These include the mushroom body cells. All of the genes discussed above are preferentially expressed in these neurons. Our current goals include understanding these and other genes and the role of mushroom body neurons in further detail.

We have developed a powerful new imaging technology that allows us to visualize changes that occur in the brain of Drosophila due to learning. Using this technology, we have discovered several of these changes, or memory traces, in different neurons of the brain (Figure). Some changes occur immediately after learning and persist for only a few minutes; others form with a delay of up to several hours and likely persist for days. Thus, behavioral memory may be due to the effects of multiple memory traces, each controlling behavior over discrete windows of time after learning.

It is important to determine whether the genes identified from model systems like Drosophila also serve mammalian behavior. To approach this, we have cloned mouse homologs of some of the aforementioned genes and have genetically studied their role in mammalian behavior. Of high interest are the knockouts of certain integrin genes, which produce an impairment of working memory without affecting other types of memory. These knockouts may be important models for human brain diseases that affect working memory including Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia, autism, and ADHD.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)

0000-0002-5986-7608

Publications

2022
Associative learning drives longitudinally graded presynaptic plasticity of neurotransmitter release along axonal compartments.
eLife. [DOI] 10.7554/eLife.76712. [PMID] 35285796.
2021
Dopamine-based mechanism for transient forgetting
Nature. [DOI] 10.1038/s41586-020-03154-y. [PMID] 33473212.
2021
Early Mitochondrial Fragmentation and Dysfunction in a Drosophila Model for Alzheimer’s Disease
Molecular Neurobiology. [DOI] 10.1007/s12035-020-02107-w. [PMID] 32909149.
2021
High-Throughput Phenotypic Assay for Compounds That Influence Mitochondrial Health Using iPSC-Derived Human Neurons
SLAS Discovery. [DOI] 10.1177/24725552211000671. [PMID] 33724077.
2021
Memory suppressor genes: Modulating acquisition, consolidation, and forgetting
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.08.001. [PMID] 34450024.
2020
High-Throughput Small Molecule Screen Identifies Modulators of Mitochondrial Function in Neurons
iScience. [DOI] 10.1016/j.isci.2020.100931. [PMID] 32146326.
2020
High-Throughput Small Molecule Screen Identifies Modulators of Mitochondrial Function in Neurons.
iScience. [DOI] 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101364. [PMID] 32711344.
2020
Mechanism of Action and Target Identification: A Matter of Timing in Drug Discovery
iScience. [DOI] 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101487. [PMID] 32891054.
2020
miR-92a Suppresses Mushroom Body-Dependent Memory Consolidation in Drosophila
eneuro. [DOI] 10.1523/eneuro.0224-20.2020.
2020
Neuron-based high-content assay and screen for CNS active mitotherapeutics
Science Advances. [DOI] 10.1126/sciadv.aaw8702. [PMID] 31934620.
2020
Rac1 Impairs Forgetting-Induced Cellular Plasticity in Mushroom Body Output Neurons
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.3389/fncel.2020.00258. [PMID] 33061890.
2020
Ras acts as a molecular switch between two forms of consolidated memory in Drosophila
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.1819925117. [PMID] 31932418.
2019
Aversive Training Induces Both Presynaptic and Postsynaptic Suppression in Drosophila
The Journal of Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/jneurosci.1420-19.2019.
2019
Stromalin Constrains Memory Acquisition by Developmentally Limiting Synaptic Vesicle Pool Size
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.11.003. [PMID] 30503644.
2018
Brain transcriptome changes in the aging Drosophila melanogaster accompany olfactory memory performance deficits
PLOS ONE. [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pone.0209405. [PMID] 30576353.
2018
Dopamine Neurons Mediate Learning and Forgetting through Bidirectional Modulation of a Memory Trace
Cell Reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.09.051. [PMID] 30332645.
2018
Drosophila mef2 is essential for normal mushroom body and wing development
Biology Open. [DOI] 10.1242/bio.035618. [PMID] 30115617.
2018
Elongator complex is required for long-term olfactory memory formation in Drosophila
Learning & Memory. [DOI] 10.1101/lm.046557.117. [PMID] 29545390.
2018
Elongator complex is required for long-term olfactory memory formation in Drosophila
Learning & Memory. [DOI] 10.1101/lm.046557.117. [PMID] 29545390.
2018
High Content, Phenotypic Assays and Screens for Compounds Modulating Cellular Processes in Primary Neurons
Methods in Enzymology. [DOI] 10.1016/bs.mie.2018.09.021. [PMID] 30390800.
2018
Interrogating the Spatiotemporal Landscape of Neuromodulatory GPCR Signaling by Real-Time Imaging of cAMP in Intact Neurons and Circuits
Cell Reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.12.022. [PMID] 29298426.
2018
Interrogating the Spatiotemporal Landscape of Neuromodulatory GPCR Signaling by Real-Time Imaging of cAMP in Intact Neurons and Circuits.
Cell reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.07.031. [PMID] 30044975.
2017
Author response: Reciprocal synapses between mushroom body and dopamine neurons form a positive feedback loop required for learning
. [DOI] 10.7554/elife.23789.014.
2017
Dopamine Receptor DAMB Signals via Gq to Mediate Forgetting in Drosophila
Cell Reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.108. [PMID] 29166600.
2017
Improved Scalability of Neuron-Based Phenotypic Screening Assays for Therapeutic Discovery in Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Molecular Neuropsychiatry. [DOI] 10.1159/000481731. [PMID] 29594133.
2017
MicroRNA function in Drosophila memory formation
Current Opinion in Neurobiology. [DOI] 10.1016/j.conb.2016.10.002. [PMID] 27837663.
2017
Novel PDE10A transcript diversity in the human striatum: Insights into gene complexity, conservation and regulation
Gene. [DOI] 10.1016/j.gene.2016.12.033.
2017
Reciprocal synapses between mushroom body and dopamine neurons form a positive feedback loop required for learning
eLife. [DOI] 10.7554/elife.23789.
2017
The Biology of Forgetting—A Perspective
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.05.039. [PMID] 28772119.
2016
Developmental inhibition of miR-iab8-3p disrupts mushroom body neuron structure and adult learning ability
Developmental Biology. [DOI] 10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.09.010. [PMID] 27634569.
2016
Drosophila SLC22A Transporter Is a Memory Suppressor Gene that Influences Cholinergic Neurotransmission to the Mushroom Bodies
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.03.017. [PMID] 27146270.
2016
Inhibiting the Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter during Development Impairs Memory in Adult Drosophila
Cell Reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.08.017. [PMID] 27568554.
2016
MiR-980 Is a Memory Suppressor MicroRNA that Regulates the Autism-Susceptibility Gene A2bp1
Cell Reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.01.040. [PMID] 26876166.
2016
Novel, primate-specific PDE10A isoform highlights gene expression complexity in human striatum with implications on the molecular pathology of bipolar disorder
Translational Psychiatry. [DOI] 10.1038/tp.2016.3. [PMID] 26905414.
2016
Scribble Scaffolds a Signalosome for Active Forgetting
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.05.010. [PMID] 27263975.
2015
Aging Impairs Protein-Synthesis-Dependent Long-Term Memory in Drosophila
Journal of Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/jneurosci.0978-14.2015.
2015
Identification of Genes That Promote or Inhibit Olfactory Memory Formation in Drosophila
Genetics. [DOI] 10.1534/genetics.114.173575. [PMID] 25644700.
2015
microRNAs That Promote or Inhibit Memory Formation in Drosophila melanogaster
Genetics. [DOI] 10.1534/genetics.114.169623. [PMID] 26088433.
2015
Sleep Facilitates Memory by Blocking Dopamine Neuron-Mediated Forgetting
Cell. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cell.2015.05.027. [PMID] 26073942.
2015
Sleep Facilitates Memory by Blocking Dopamine Neuron-Mediated Forgetting
Cell. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cell.2015.05.027. [PMID] 26073942.
2015
SnapShot: Olfactory Classical Conditioning of Drosophila
Cell. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cell.2015.09.043.
2014
Active Forgetting of Olfactory Memories in Drosophila
Progress in Brain Research. [DOI] 10.1016/b978-0-444-63350-7.00002-4.
2014
Caspase Inhibition in Select Olfactory Neurons Restores Innate Attraction Behavior in Aged Drosophila
PLoS Genetics. [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004437. [PMID] 24967585.
2014
Functional neuroanatomy of Drosophila olfactory memory formation
Learning & Memory. [DOI] 10.1101/lm.034363.114. [PMID] 25225297.
2013
Drosophila Memory Research through Four Eras
Invertebrate Learning and Memory. [DOI] 10.1016/b978-0-12-415823-8.00027-7.
2013
Interactions between ICAM-5 and β1 integrins regulate neuronal synapse formation
Journal of Cell Science. [DOI] 10.1242/jcs.106674. [PMID] 23015592.
2013
Spermidine cures flies of senior moments
Nature Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1038/nn.3518.
2013
System-Like Consolidation of Olfactory Memories in Drosophila
Journal of Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/jneurosci.0451-13.2013.
2013
Wnt Signaling Is Required for Long-Term Memory Formation
Cell Reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.08.007. [PMID] 24035392.
2012
Aging impairs intermediate-term behavioral memory by disrupting the dorsal paired medial neuron memory trace
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.1118126109. [PMID] 22474396.
2012
Compensatory redistribution of neuroligins and N-cadherin following deletion of synaptic β1-integrin
The Journal of Comparative Neurology. [DOI] 10.1002/cne.23027. [PMID] 22488504.
2012
Distinct Traces for Appetitive versus Aversive Olfactory Memories in DPM Neurons of Drosophila
Current Biology. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cub.2012.05.009. [PMID] 22658595.
2012
Dopamine Is Required for Learning and Forgetting in Drosophila
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.04.007. [PMID] 22578504.
2012
Functional Imaging of Antennal Lobe Neurons in Drosophila with Synapto-pHluorin
Genetically Encoded Functional Indicators. [DOI] 10.1007/978-1-62703-014-4_4.
2012
Genetic association of cyclic AMP signaling genes with bipolar disorder
Translational Psychiatry. [DOI] 10.1038/tp.2012.92. [PMID] 23032945.
2012
Mushroom-Body Memories: An Obituary Prematurely Written?
Current Biology. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cub.2012.02.060.
2011
The Long-Term Memory Trace Formed in the Drosophila  /  Mushroom Body Neurons Is Abolished in Long-Term Memory Mutants
Journal of Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/jneurosci.3190-10.2011.
2011
Traces of Drosophila memory.
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.03.012. [PMID] 21482352.
2010
A Distinct Set of Drosophila Brain Neurons Required for Neurofibromatosis Type 1-Dependent Learning and Memory
Journal of Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/jneurosci.0283-10.2010.
2010
A Late-Phase, Long-Term Memory Trace Forms in the   Neurons of Drosophila Mushroom Bodies after Olfactory Classical Conditioning
Journal of Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/jneurosci.1882-10.2010.
2010
Gilgamesh Is Required for rutabaga-Independent Olfactory Learning in Drosophila
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.08.020. [PMID] 20826312.
2010
Olfactory learning in Drosophila.
Physiology (Bethesda, Md.). [DOI] 10.1152/physiol.00026.2010. [PMID] 21186278.
2010
Rac in the Act of Forgetting
Cell. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cell.2010.02.004.
2010
α8-Integrins are required for hippocampal long-term potentiation but not for hippocampal-dependent learning
Genes, Brain and Behavior. [DOI] 10.1111/j.1601-183x.2010.00569.x.
2009
A dual role for the adaptor protein DRK in Drosophila olfactory learning and memory.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3670-08.2009. [PMID] 19244537.
2009
Dynamics of Learning-Related cAMP Signaling and Stimulus Integration in the Drosophila Olfactory Pathway
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.09.029. [PMID] 19945393.
2009
Eight different types of dopaminergic neurons innervate the Drosophila mushroom body neuropil: anatomical and physiological heterogeneity.
Frontiers in neural circuits. [DOI] 10.3389/neuro.04.005.2009. [PMID] 19597562.
2009
The GABAA receptor RDL suppresses the conditioned stimulus pathway for olfactory learning.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4763-08.2009. [PMID] 19193904.
2009
The GABAergic anterior paired lateral neuron suppresses and is suppressed by olfactory learning
Nature Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1038/nn.2235. [PMID] 19043409.
2008
Behavioural neuroscience: Out of sight, but not out of mind.
Nature. [DOI] 10.1038/4531192a. [PMID] 18580936.
2008
Cyclic AMP imaging sheds light on PDF signaling in circadian clock neurons.
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.04.008. [PMID] 18439399.
2008
Olfactory memory traces in Drosophila.
Progress in brain research. [DOI] 10.1016/S0079-6123(07)00018-0. [PMID] 18394482.
2008
Spatial and temporal control of gene expression in Drosophila using the inducible GeneSwitch GAL4 system. I. Screen for larval nervous system drivers.
Genetics. [DOI] 10.1534/genetics.107.081968. [PMID] 18202369.
2007
Alpha3-integrins are required for hippocampal long-term potentiation and working memory.
Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.). [PMID] 17848500.
2007
Drosophila homer is required in a small set of neurons including the ellipsoid body for normal ethanol sensitivity and tolerance.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. [PMID] 17460067.
2007
Exploratory activity in Drosophila requires the kurtz nonvisual arrestin.
Genetics. [PMID] 17151232.
2007
GABAA Receptor RDL Inhibits Drosophila Olfactory Associative Learning
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.10.036. [PMID] 18093529.
2007
The scent of Drosophila sex.
Neuron. [PMID] 17408574.
2006
A Drosophila nonvisual arrestin is required for the maintenance of olfactory sensitivity.
Chemical senses. [PMID] 16306316.
2006
Drosophila alpha/beta mushroom body neurons form a branch-specific, long-term cellular memory trace after spaced olfactory conditioning.
Neuron. [PMID] 17145505.
2006
Insect olfactory memory in time and space.
Current opinion in neurobiology. [PMID] 17084613.
2006
Roles for Drosophila mushroom body neurons in olfactory learning and memory.
Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.). [PMID] 16980542.
2006
 1-Integrins Are Required for Hippocampal AMPA Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Transmission, Synaptic Plasticity, and Working Memory
Journal of Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/jneurosci.4110-05.2006.
2005
Drosophila DPM Neurons Form a Delayed and Branch-Specific Memory Trace after Olfactory Classical Conditioning
Cell. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cell.2005.09.037.
2005
Isolation of mRNA from specific tissues of Drosophila by mRNA tagging.
Nucleic acids research. [PMID] 16204451.
2005
OLFACTORY MEMORY FORMATION IN DROSOPHILA: From Molecular to Systems Neuroscience
Annual Review of Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1146/annurev.neuro.28.061604.135651.
2005
Remote control of fruit fly behavior.
Cell. [PMID] 15820673.
2005
The dachshund gene is required for the proper guidance and branching of mushroom body axons in Drosophila melanogaster.
Journal of neurobiology. [PMID] 15818552.
2005
Thirty years of olfactory learning and memory research in Drosophila melanogaster.
Progress in neurobiology. [PMID] 16266778.
2004
Altered Representation of the Spatial Code for Odors after Olfactory Classical Conditioning
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/s0896-6273(04)00217-x.
2004
Gene expression systems in Drosophila: a synthesis of time and space.
Trends in genetics : TIG. [PMID] 15262411.
2004
Olfactory Learning
Neuron. [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.09.008.
2004
Pharmacogenetic rescue in time and space of the rutabaga memory impairment by using Gene-Switch.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. [PMID] 14684832.
2004
Spatiotemporal gene expression targeting with the TARGET and gene-switch systems in Drosophila.
Science's STKE : signal transduction knowledge environment. [PMID] 14970377.
2004
The role of cAMP response element-binding protein in Drosophila long-term memory.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. [PMID] 15470148.
2003
An adjustable-threshold algorithm for the identification of objects in three-dimensional images.
Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). [PMID] 12874057.
2003
Detection of calcium transients in Drosophila mushroom body neurons with camgaroo reporters.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. [PMID] 12514202.
2003
Integrin requirement for hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. [PMID] 12904471.
2003
Octopamine receptor OAMB is required for ovulation in Drosophila melanogaster.
Developmental biology. [PMID] 14623240.
2003
Spatiotemporal Rescue of Memory Dysfunction in Drosophila
Science. [DOI] 10.1126/science.1089035.
2003
SRC-1 null mice exhibit moderate motor dysfunction and delayed development of cerebellar Purkinje cells.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. [PMID] 12514218.
2002
Conditional expression of UAS-transgenes in the adult eye with a new gene-switch vector system.
Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000). [PMID] 12324966.
2001
The Role of Drosophila Mushroom Body Signaling in Olfactory Memory
Science. [DOI] 10.1126/science.1062622.

Grants

Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Biology of memory
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NINDS
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Neurobiological mechanisms for transient forgetting
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIMH
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Drug Discovery Training Program: 4 trainees
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: COMM FOU FOR PALM BEACH & MARTIN CO
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Mitochondrial therapeutics for healthy brain aging
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIA

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(561) 228-3463
Emails:
Addresses:
Business Mailing:
Location C349
130 SCRIPPS WAY BLDG 3C2
JUPITER FL 33458