Developmental Biology and Disease
Developmental Biology and Disease deals with the fascinating question of how a complex organism is generated from a single cell. These studies give insights into what can go wrong during early development, how organs in our bodies adapt and change throughout life, and ultimately how we age.
We have major strengths in pattern formation, epithelial morphogenesis, cell signalling and neural development, studying processes that occur at the level of single cells up to whole tissues and organs. There is a focus on non-mammalian model systems, particularly Drosophila, zebrafish and chick, which is complemented by expertise in mouse genetics. The knowledge we gain from studies of development is also used to generate animal models of human disease.
Fibroblast migration during wound healing: signalling from extracellular matrix receptors to Rho-family GTPases.
Satellite cell biology and skeletal muscle regeneration.
Role of cell-cell adhesion in morphogenesis.
Epithelial cell plasticity in development and disease
Development of the Zebrafish Central Nervous System.
Role of L1CAM-like adhesion molecules in neural development.
Ciliogenesis and cell polarity.
Congenital heart diseases affect around 1% of live births, and are structural defects that arise from improper morphogenesis of the heart during embryonic development.
Neural patterning and hypothalamic differentiation.
Zebrafish musculoskeletal development.
Planar cell polarity – Coordination and maintenance of cell polarity during development, with a primary interest in the roles of the Frizzled sevenpass transmembrane receptor.
Vertebrate limb development.
Stem cell potency in development and disease.
Disease models and Shh receptor function in zebrafish.
Development of the fish inner ear.
JAK/STAT pathway– a signaling cascade frequently misactivated in haematopoietic malignancies. High throughput RNAi screening technologies and developmental genetic assays in Drosophila to determine the mechanisms of action of pathway regulators and their interactions in vivo.