Peng Xu joined Ke Dong’s lab in 2012. The focus of his research project is to understand the function of the DSC1 gene in Drosophila melanogaster. Previous functional expression and characterization in Xenopus oocytes reveal that the DSC1 gene encodes a voltage-gated cation channel (Zhan et al., 2012). However, the in vivo function of the DSC1 channel is not yet clear. Peng is currently focusing most of his attention on olfactory and visual systems to determine the role of the DSC1 channel in insect olfaction and vision using electroantennogram, single sensilla recording and electroretinogram. He is also interested in examining how the deletion of the DSC1 gene changes insect behavior. Previous lab members identified a jumpy phenotype and defects in the giant fiber system in DSC1 knockout flies (Zhang et al., 2013). We predict more behavioral defects in DSC-1 mutants. The ultimate goal of this project is to determine how ion channel mutations modulate the function of neural circuits for complex behaviors.