Nicholas Bellono

Scholar: 2019

Awarded Institution
Assistant Professor
Harvard University
Molecular and Cellular Biology


Research Interests

Molecular Mechanisms of Sensory Adaptation

We are interested in how organisms adapt to dynamic changes in their environment. Sensory systems often show enhanced rates of evolutionary drift compared with other systems, reflecting an organism’s need to adapt to a specific lifestyle or ecological niche. Our research leverages specialized sensory systems to understand fundamental mechanisms of cellular signaling and physiological adaptation.

Our research program focuses on the molecular and cellular basis of the following major biological questions:

  • How do cells to detect and integrate distinct signals to produce specific responses?
  • How do diverse organisms detect, integrate, and respond to numerous changes in their environment?
  • How do organisms adapt to physiological or pathophysiological changes?

To address these questions, our studies span a range of uniquely-specialized biological systems, connecting single protein biophysics to cell physiology and behavior to reveal fundamental mechanisms underlying the ability of organisms to adapt to their particular environments. We emphasize a curiosity-based approach to venture into relatively unexplored systems to uncover unanticipated biological insights in both biomedically- and evolutionarily-relevant aspects.