MCB Seminar: Dr. Janko Gospocic

Dr. Janko Gospocic, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center


Host: Jelena Erceg

“Hormones and High Society: Control of Caste Identity in Ants”

Summary: Social insects are exceptional model organisms to study how epigenetic factors and gene regulation modulate neuronal circuitry resulting in specific social behaviors, in particular because very similar genetic backgrounds can give rise to distinct castes. The Indian jumping ant (Harpegnathos saltator) has the unique ability to change caste throughout adulthood depending on the social context within the colony. Analysis of brain transcriptomes during the transition revealed that neuropeptide corazonin and steroid signaling are major regulators of caste identity and behavior in social insects.

Dr. Janko Gospocic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry with a secondary appointment at Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences. He grew up in Croatia and received a M.S in Molecular Biology at University of Zagreb. He then received a Ph.D in developmental biology and genetics at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) under mentorship of Prof. Nadia Rosenthal. Dr. Gospocic then conducted his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in the lab of Dr. Roberto Bonasio.

Link to Dr. Gospocic publications: