Sama Ahmed, Ph.D
Weill Neurohub Term Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences (he/him)
ahmed lab

What is your Research Focus?

Nervous systems can produce a wide variety of adaptive behaviors, such as running, feeding, and singing. Yet, not all behaviors can be effectively performed simultaneously (“don’t text and drive!”). How do neural circuits interact to generate multiple behaviors at the same time? What aspects of neural activity limit the expression of different behaviors? And, what can these constraints teach us about nervous system function? To address these questions, we strive to accomplish the following:

–   understand the computations implemented by brain-wide networks,
–   uncover how neural circuits interact, at different scales, to generate behaviors, and,
–   investigate the natural limits of nervous system function.

We aim to achieve these goals by studying the small brain of the fruit fly, D. melanogaster, using recent advances in neurogenetics, high-resolution behavioral analysis, modeling, and neural imaging to reveal general principles of dynamic brain function.


What opportunities at the UW excite you?

I am most excited by the opportunities to work alongside experimentalists and theorists, at all levels, to understand the link between brains and behavior. To that end, I’ve already connected with UW scholars through ADVANCE and the Faculty Development Program and I’m looking forward to building with them.