Hugo J. Bellen
Bellen is an accomplished Drosophila geneticist who has made major contributions to our understanding of nervous system development, synaptic transmission and mechanisms of neurodegeneration. He has recently collaborated with human geneticists to uncover disease genes and elucidate mechanisms of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases using fruit flies. In just the past two years his lab has discovered genes underlying 17 neurological diseases. Bellen has been a pioneer in the development and implementation of novel technologies to manipulate genes and assess their function. His laboratory has developed numerous sophisticated genetic tools and generated tens of thousands of reagents used by Drosophila researchers.