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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.

Principal investigators

Dr Anne-Gaelle Borycki

Satellite cell biology and skeletal muscle regeneration.

Dr Natalia Bulgakova

Role of cell-cell adhesion in morphogenesis.

Dr Kyra Campbell

Epithelial cell plasticity in development and disease

Dr Vincent Cunliffe

Development of the Zebrafish Central Nervous System.

Dr Andrew Furley

Role of L1CAM-like adhesion molecules in neural development.

Dr Jarema Malicki

Ciliogenesis and cell polarity.

Dr Emily Noel

Congenital heart diseases affect around 1% of live births, and are structural defects that arise from improper morphogenesis of the heart during embryonic development.

Dr Henry Roehl

Zebrafish musculoskeletal development.

Professor David Strutt

Planar cell polarity – Coordination and maintenance of cell polarity during development, with a primary interest in the roles of the Frizzled sevenpass transmembrane receptor.

Dr Matthew Towers

Vertebrate limb development.

Dr Freek van Eeden

Disease models and Shh receptor function in zebrafish.

Professor Tanya Whitfield

Development of the fish inner ear.