Faculty & Staff

Dr. Brett Berke
Associate Professor of Biology

Spring 2022 (virtual and F2F; https://truman-edu.zoom.us/j/3226642392)

M 930-1230

T 130-320

W 930-1130

Fri 1130-1230

Appointments can als be scheduled as requested

Personal Pronouns: he/him/his

B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaigne - 1996

Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Iowa - 2004

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Yale University - 2015


Courses taught:

Introductory Biology I (Biol 107)

Freshman Seminar (Biol 145)

Introduction to Writing About Biology (Biol 210)

Writing About Biology (Biol 349)

Animal Physiology (Biol 315)

Principles of Human Physiology (Biol 322)

Neurobiology (Biol 333)

Molecular Pharmacology (Biol 334)

Independent Study on PTSD (Biol 444)

Research for credit (441-443)

Advanced Neurobiology (Bio 518/518G)

Graduate Seminar (Biol 606/7G, 616/617G)

Scientific Writing (Biol 601G)


Research in the Berke Lab uses the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the genetic mechanisms underlying several important aspects of neurobiology: 

1. We are interested in the emerging roles for retrograde signaling at the well-studied larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ),

2. we are examining previously uncharacterized roles for planar polarity proteins during presynaptic motoneuron development,

3. we are using simple locomotion by Drosophila larvae to examine the genetic basis for decision making (higher level regulation of motor behavior), and

4. we are testing an interesting hypothesis to explain why only subsets of neurons die in fly models of neurodegenerative disease.