Tzumin Lee wants to understand the brain’s structure, function, and evolution. Tzumin and his team use Drosophila as a genetic model system for studying the development of a complex brain. Their aim is to describe each cellular lineage in the fly cerebrum, from progenitor neuroblasts to individual mature neurons, and to determine the gene regulatory networks that underlie the development of various neuronal lineages. By uncovering the similarities and differences in these lineages at the cellular and molecular levels, they hope to reveal the genetic principles of fly brain development and evolution. Ultimately, they would like to determine if conserved mechanisms govern vertebrate brain development.