Meet the Team

Nawar Alwash

Nawar Alwash

MSc Student

Nawar is a MSc candidate in the Levine lab. She joined in 2014 and completed a Biology thesis program with Dr. Joel Levine. She completed her BSc degree in Biology at the University of Toronto in June 2016.

D. melanogaster display an array of social behavioral interactions. When placed in groups, they form complex and non-random social interaction networks (SINs). However, little is known about the genes that affect social network structure. The foraging (for) gene encodes a signalling molecule called cGMP dependent Protein Kinase G (PKG) which plays an important role in food-related behavior. The for gene is located on the second chromosome and has two naturally occurring alleles: the rovers and the sitters. In the presence of food, rovers have been characterized with higher PKG activity and mobility. Nawar’s project investigates the role of the for gene on the formation of SINs in D. melanogaster.

Outside of the lab, Nawar spends a lot of time reading, watching movies and listening to music.