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I feel deeply sad to learn

I feel deeply sad to learn that Veronica Rodrigues has passed away on November 10, 2010. The Drosophila neurogenetics community owes her so much for her contributions to fly chemosensation. Together with her Ph.D. supervisor Obaid Siddiqi she pioneered in olfactory neurogenetics in flies and fly larvae. Already in the late seventies, as a student with Obaid, she investigated olfactory-driven behavior in Drosophila and she isolated olfactory and gustatory mutants. Later on, during a postdoc in Tübingen she pioneered in olfactory imaging by adapting the deoxyglucose method to the fly antennal lobe. Early in the nineties she began to analyze the genetic substrate and the molecular mechanisms of smell and taste. She then started a long-term project for which she became particularly famous, a project that she followed until her death: the development of the olfactory system and its genetic basis. She first focused on sensillar development and its underlying genes, such as atonal, lozenge, prospero, Numb, Notch and seven-up, and established a new model of the cellular determination and cellular interactions during the development of antennal sensilla. Then she became more and more fascinated by the establishment of the connectivity between the antenna and the antennal lobe during metamorphosis. In all of her studies, and especially in those from the last years, she elegantly combined molecular, cellular and developmental processes with the organismic level. Based on the excellence and the broad spectrum of her research, Veronica became one of the major players in olfactory neurogenetics. Consequently, her papers appeared in top journals like Nature, Development, J. Neuroscience, Mech. Development, Dev. Biology, or J. Neurobiol. She established numerous collaborations with leading neurobiologists in India as well as abroad. We will not forget Veronica and her contributions to Drosophila neuroscience and genetics. Her legacy continues in the many brilliant students she brought up, scientists who created new research groups all over the world.


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