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We use zebrafish genetics to study several problems: 1. How naïve cells acquire a specific fate: in our case, we care about how they become neurons that can synthesize and release neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline, etc. These neurons are clinically important. Their degeneration or dysfunction is implicated in Parkinson?s disease, anxiety and depression, and drug and alcohol addiction. 2. How differentiated cells function: We study how melanocytes change appearance in response to environmental stimuli and how animal behavior is affected by drugs of abuse. 3. How differentiated cells maintain themselves from degeneration: we study dopamine neuron degeneration in Parkinson?s disease.