It has been long recognized that glycans play essential roles in metazoan organisms, while defects in glycosylation are associated with numerous diseases and abnormalities, from defects of the brain and muscles to immune system disorders and cancer. However, the complexity of glycosylation pathways and limitations of genetic and in vivo approaches significantly impede studies of glycan functions in mammals. We are using the advantages of Drosophila model organism, including its decreased genetic redundancy, powerful arsenal of molecular genetic approaches, and comprehensively characterized development, to elucidate mechanisms underlying the function of glycosylation in development, physiology, and diseases. We employ a multidisciplinary strategy to study glycosylation pathway genes at molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. Currently, our research focuses on two main projects:
  – the role of sialylation in the nervous system and
  – molecular and genetic mechanisms of protein O‑mannosylation