Hugo Bellen uses Drosophila as a model system to study neuronal development, function, and maintenance. To enable and accelerate research in this area, Bellen and his team develop technologies that they use and share with other scientists. Currently, the team is focused on discovering the mechanisms of human neurodegenerative disease genes and elucidating the pathogenic mechanisms associated with mutations in those genes. In addition, the team seeks to uncover the causes of undiagnosed diseases through collaborations with human geneticists worldwide. Their work has advanced understanding of rare neurological pediatric diseases, and more common diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.