Translational Neurogenetics


Lab Location: #8-04  Email:   Tel: 65869540

Adam did his undergraduate studies at the Australian National University, pursued his doctoral work on circadian rhythms with Michael Young at The Rockefeller University and did postdoctoral work on olfactory learning with Gero Miesenböck at Yale University. He was a Nuffield Leadership Fellow in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford. He is an Assistant Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School in the Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders program and a Principal Investigator (Joint) at IMCB.



Research Overview

Nervous systems transform sensory signals and internal states into actions. Learning is a process by which this transformation is altered, producing different actions from the same stimulus. We study learning using the Drosophila model system. Flies can be trained to avoid an odor by pairing its presentation with electric shocks. This aversive memory is stored in a brain structure called the mushroom body that comprises roughly 2500 neurons per hemisphere. Olfactory signals arrive at the mushroom body neurons and cause a small fraction to fire action potentials. Pain signaling is thought to arrive via dopamine action on receptors linked to a calcium-stimulated adenylate cyclase. Elevated calcium resulting from action potentials coinciding with dopamine receptor activity are hypothesized to synergistically raise cyclic AMP levels. Cyclic AMP then mediates a range of synaptic plasticity responses that alter the fly’s response to that odor.

We showed that aversive inputs in the mushroom body are mediated by dopaminergic cells in a single posterior cluster, projecting to restricted domains in the mushroom body. Our novel single-fly behavioral assay reveals differences between Pavlovian and operant conditioning. As there is no molecular framework for how action-contingency could influence learning, we are commencing a screen to find new genes and neurons that are involved in one process but not the other.

We can accept students through several programs, including the Duke_NUS doctoral program and a variety of programs offered by the A*STAR Graduate Academy.


Recent Publications

Farhan Mohammad, Sameer Aryal, Joses Ho, James Charles Stewart, Nurul Ayuni Norman, Teng Li Tan, Agnese Eisaka, Adam Claridge-Chang. (2016)
Ancient Anxiety Pathways Influence Drosophila Defense Behaviors.
Current Biology. 2016.

Adam Claridge-Chang, Pryseley N. Assam. (2016)
Estimation statistics should replace significance testing.
Nature Methods. 2016.

Rapeechai Navawongse, Deepak Choudhury, Marlena Raczkowska, James C Stewart, Terrence Lim, Mashiur Rahman, Alicia Guek Geok Toh, Zhiping Wang, Adam Claridge-Chang. (2016)
Drosophila learn efficient paths to a food source.
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 2016. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2016.03.019

Farhan Mohammad, Joses Ho, Chun Lei Lim, Jia Hern Woo, Dennis Jun Jie Poon, Bhumika Lamba, Adam Claridge-Chang. (2015)
Concordance and incongruence in preclinical anxiety models: systematic review and meta-analyses.
bioRxiv. 2015. doi:

Tugce Yildizoglu, Jan-Marek Weislogel, Farhan Mohammad, Edwin S.-Y. Chan, Pryseley N. Assam, Adam Claridge-Chang. (2015)
Estimating information processing through a memory system: the utility of meta-analytic methods for genetics.
PLOS Genetics. 2015. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005718.

Schaefer AT, Claridge-Chang A (2012)
The surveillance state of behavioral automation
Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Feb;22(1):170-6. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

Claridge-Chang A, Roorda RD, Vrontou E, Sjulson L, Li H, Hirsh J, Miesenböck G. (2009)
Writing memories with light-addressable reinforcement circuitry.
Cell, 139(2), pp. 405-15.

Shang Y, Claridge-Chang A, Sjulson L, Pypaert M, Miesenböck G. (2007)
Excitatory local circuits and their implications for olfactory processing in the fly antennal lobe.
Cell, 128 (3), pp. 601-12.

Wijnen H, Naef F, Boothroyd C, Claridge-Chang A, Young MW. (2006)
Control of daily transcript oscillations in Drosophila by light and the circadian clock.
PLoS Genetics, 2 (3), pp. e39.

Claridge-Chang A, Wijnen H, Naef F, Boothroyd C, Rajewsky N, Young MW. (2001)
Circadian regulation of gene expression systems in the Drosophila head.
Neuron, 32 (4), pp. 657-71.