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TEAM

Nicholas Burczyk - Research Engineer (B.A. (Mod) Biochemistry, MSc Biotechnology)
has more than 4 years of experience developing novel scientific equipment to advance medical research using emerging rapid prototyping as well as classic manufacturing techniques. Specializes in multidisciplinary R&D, designing hardware and software, and system integration with commercial products. Previous projects include developing high throughput robotic systems for tissue capture and storage, multitude of mechanical and optical systems, pneumatics and microfluidics.  

Richard Faville – Bioengineer (PhD, University of Auckland)
has more than 10 years of experience in the field of Bioengineering and Theoretical Neuroscience. Specialises in developing image processing algorithms, instrument control, experimental design, machine learning/computer vision, mathematical modelling, and large-dataset quantitative analysis. Previous projects include creating software packages for designing/analysing animal behavioural and neuronal tissue imaging experiments.  CV

Benjamin Kottler – Behavioural Scientist (PhD, Universite Paris VII)
has more than 10 years of experience with Drosophila research. Specialises in molecular and cellular biology. Previous research projects included investigation of new learning and memory mutants and exploring general anaesthesia and sleep relationship in the fruitfly. Currently is studying the mechanisms underlying action initiation and its maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster.  CV

History of the DART system

It all started when we developed a new methodology to study general anaesthesia in the fly (Kottler et al, 2013). As general anaesthesia is characterized by the loss of responsiveness to noxious stimuli we developed a simple approach where flies were recorded for only 1min before and after the stimuli. Then we applied this methodology to look at stimuli response across day and night. This is how we explored the sleep intensity dynamics in Drosophila (Van Alphen et al, 2013). While pioneering, this study by itself couldn’t move the field forward as it was technically too restrictive. The program had to be user-friendly without requiring extensive coding knowledge. Moreover, not every institute can have access to a workshop to design the hardware.

This is why we decided to put our energy in developing robust, reliable, easily adaptable methodology offering freedom to the users to design their experiments and to analyse their results.

We developed and keep on developing the DART system (Faville & Kottler, et al., 2015)  but also offer the hardware equipment.