Richard Benton, Associate Professor

Richard Benton received his PhD in 2003 from the University of Cambridge, and was an EMBO/Heley Hay Whitney post-doctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University, New York. He joined the Center for Integrative Genomics in September 2007 as Assistant Professor and promoted to Associate Professor in August 2012. His group’s research has been recognised by award of several prizes, including the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology (2009), Friedrich Miescher Award (2012), AChemS Young Investigator Award for Research in Olfaction (2012), the National Latsis Prize (2015), and the EMBO Gold Medal (2016). His research has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, ERC Starting and Consolidator Grants, the EMBO Young Investigator Programme and an HFSP Young Investigator Award.

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INTERVIEWRESEARCH REPORT 2015-2016

Research summary

Our group is interested in the genetic, neural and evolutionary basis of sensory perception.

As a model, we investigate the chemosensory systems of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which control many sophisticated behaviours, but are numerically simple and experimentally highly accessible. We take a multidisciplinary experimental approach, including bioinformatics, genetics, molecular and cellular biology, electrophysiology, optical imaging, and behavioural analysis.

Several conceptually diverse projects are currently being pursued, including the structural and molecular basis of chemosensory receptor function, the anatomical and physiological properties of chemosensory circuits in the brain, the genetic and ecological basis of chemosensory circuit evolution, and the neural underpinnings of chemosensory-dependent social behaviours.

Representative publications

Google Scholar Profile

Sánchez-Alcañiz JA, Zappia G, Marion-Poll F and Benton R. A mechanosensory receptor required for food texture detection in Drosophila. Nature Communications (2017) doi:10.1038/ncomms14192

Prieto-Godino LL, Rytz R, Cruchet S, Bargeton B, Abuin L, Silbering AF, Ruta V, Dal Peraro M and Benton R. Evolution of acid-sensing olfactory circuits in drosophilids. Neuron (2017) doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.12.024

LeBoeuf AC, Waridel P, Brent CS, Gonçalves AN, Menin L, Ortiz D, Riba-Grognuz O, Koto A, Soares ZG, Privman E, Miska EA, Benton R* and Keller L*. Oral transfer of chemical cues, growth proteins and hormones in social insects. eLIFE (2016) doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20375 (*co-corresponding authors)

Prieto-Godino LL, Rytz R, Bargeton B, Abuin L, Arguello JR, Dal Peraro M and Benton R. Olfactory receptor pseudo-pseudogenes. Nature (2016) 539(7627):93-97

Ramdya P, Lichocki P, Cruchet S, Frisch L, Tse W, Floreano D and Benton R. Mechanosensory Interactions Drive Collective Behaviour in Drosophila. Nature (2015) 519(7542):233-6

Contact

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Richard Benton CV

richard.benton@unil.ch

Tel: +41 21 692 3932

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Administrative assistant

Iris Marouani
iris.marouani@unil.ch
Tel: +41 21 692 3960

Lab meeting
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Soft-skills guide
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Génopode - CH-1015 Lausanne
Switzerland
Tel. +41 21 692 22 00
Fax +41 21 692 22 11