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Faculty Experts

Daniel Marenda, PhD

Associate professor, Department of Biology

College of Arts and Sciences

Marenda studies how the brain’s neurons control organisms, and he especially looks at the way genes influence the development of the brain and the central nervous system. Many of the genes his research focuses on are related to human diseases, such as Pitt-Hopkins syndrome and alzheimer’s disease. Much of his research is done through looking at living specimens of fruit flies, for which he has also done research into toxicity related to artificial sweeteners.

More information about Marenda

For news media inquiries, contact Frank Otto at fmo26@drexel.edu or 215.571.4244.

 

In the News

  • Is This Artificial Sweetener Too Dangerous to Eat?

    A study on the birth control effect that the artificial sweetener behind Trivia has on fruit flies, authored by Sean O'Donnell, PhD, and Daniel Marenda, PhD, both professors in the College of Arts and Sciences, was the focus of a June 1 Food52 article. They were both quoted in a related story on the website of WESH-TV (NBC-2, Orlando, Florida), which was picked up by network affiliates across the country. Fox News' "The Daily Meal" also covered the study on June 12.

  • Popular Artificial Sweetener Also Works as Pesticide and Insect Birth Control

    Sean O’Donnell, PhD, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in a May 23 UPI story on a study he did with Daniel Marenda, PhD, an associate professor in the College, that showed the sweetener in Truvia is deadly to young flies and can be an effective pesticide. Philly Voice also reported the story.

  • 7 Awesome Discoveries Made by Kids

    Daniel Marenda, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was mentioned in a LiveScience story on Sept. 2 about research discoveries made by kids. His son contributed to research on the toxic effect of the sweetener erythritol on fruit flies.

  • Certain Artificial Sweeteners May be Toxic to Fruit Flies

    Research co-led by Daniel Marenda, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Sean O’Donnell, PhD, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, on the toxic effects of the sugar substitute erythritol, was featured in a story on GoodHousekeeping.com and Women’s Health Magazine on June 23-24. The discovery was inspired by a science fair project of Marenda’s son.

  • Boy scientist in Manayunk finds sweetener that kills fruit flies

    Daniel Marenda, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Sean O’Donnell, PhD, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, were quoted in stories about a study they co-led which identified a common sugar substitute, erythritol, as a potential safe and effective insecticide. The research, inspired by a science fair project of Marenda’s son, was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY/Newsworks, CBSNews.com, Science, The Verge, Discovery News, Live ScienceScience News’ Student Science, Xinhua (the state press agency of China) and other outlets on June 4.

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