Steven de Belle examines the biology that supports rules of learning established in the cognitive sciences. He uses genetic, molecular, pharmacological and imaging tools to disambiguate biochemical and neural circuit processes that enable learning, consolidation and recall of memories in flies. His research aims to differentiate processes that are shared from those that distinguish different types of learning. These studies will inform our understanding of habit formation in animals and the development of therapies for problems associated with habit formation in humans.
Professor de Belle also uses cloud computing and genomics to characterize human memory performance diversity. He catalogues the neural alphabet of genes, proteins, and signaling pathways that support this diversity, and is leveraging their diagnostic potential to identify causal factors of memory deficits associated with aging and disease states. A key goal is to inform therapeutic strategies that eliminate these factors rather than merely mitigate their symptoms.
Ph.D. Biology (1991), York University, Toronto, Canada.