Model organisms are crucial for the progress of scientific research- whether it’s basic science or translational biomedical research.  I entered graduate school convinced that if I couldn’t study humans, then I’ll do mammalian research (i.e., rats or mice) because they are “more important” and potentially more informative than invertebrates like the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.  Because of this, I centered three of my four first-year lab rotations solely on their mammalian organisms, and then considered if the research topics were of interest.  I reasoned that if I wanted to study neuroscience, then how informative and translational can a fly brain be?  From my introductory to biology courses, it was clear why “lower” organisms (e.g., the fly or even nematode) were incredibly useful for gene expression and regulation, but that was it… right?  The neuron types and circuit are not paralleled; so again, what could possibly be interesting to a budding neuroscientist in fly labs? It wasn’t until that fourth lab rotation (which turned out to be my eventual thesis lab) that I realized how wrong I was. Yes, the specific neuron types and their respective connections are different, but that they are more similar than distinct.  I hadn’t realized that less complex systems are also awesome in addressing larger concepts like the balance of excitation and inhibition, as well as microscopic details like the specific mechanism of neural transmission.  Thus, prioritize your research interests first, then address how that’ll be accomplished with your organism as a mere tool.