Fruit flies in biomedical research

Genetics. 2015 Mar;199(3):639-53. doi: 10.1534/genetics.114.171785. Epub 2015 Jan 26.


Many scientists complain that the current funding situation is dire. Indeed, there has been an overall decline in support in funding for research from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Within the Drosophila field, some of us question how long this funding crunch will last as it demotivates principal investigators and perhaps more importantly affects the long-term career choice of many young scientists. Yet numerous very interesting biological processes and avenues remain to be investigated in Drosophila, and probing questions can be answered fast and efficiently in flies to reveal new biological phenomena. Moreover, Drosophila is an excellent model organism for studies that have translational impact for genetic disease and for other medical implications such as vector-borne illnesses. We would like to promote a better collaboration between Drosophila geneticists/biologists and human geneticists/bioinformaticians/clinicians, as it would benefit both fields and significantly impact the research on human diseases.

Keywords: Drosophila; GWAS; collaboration; functional genomics; funding; genetic disease; human; public health; whole-exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn
  • Genetic Research*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • United States