Sweta Agrawal, PhD

2020 K99/R00 Awardee
Photo of Sweta Agrawal, 2020 K99/R00 Awardee
University of Washington
Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Sweta Agrawal is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington. She obtained her BA from Columbia University in Neuroscience, where she worked with Drs. Darcy Kelley and David Grimaldi. As a graduate student in Michael Dickinson’s lab at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Washington, she examined how visual and chemosensory cues shape male Drosophila courtship behavior by building an artificial fly robot that could be programmed to interact with other flies in a large arena. As a postdoc in John Tuthill’s lab, she identified and recorded the activity of central neurons downstream of the largest proprioceptive organ in the fly leg, the femoral chordotonal organ, to understand how proprioceptive sensory information is transformed by the central nervous system and then used in locomotor control. She is currently building a computational model of describe how these central circuits encode natural movements such as walking an grooming, and will then use that model to test for forward models of motor control in Drosophila. Throughout her research, she takes advantage of a broad array of tools, including quantitative behavior analysis, 2-photon calcium imaging  and electrophysiology in behaving animals, modeling, comparative morphology, and genetics.

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