Dr Matthew Towers
Reader of Developmental Biology
Brief career history
Vertebrate Limb Development
We want to understand how cells divide for the correct number of times in order to generate correctly patterned limbs. This research is important because it can give insights into the mechanisms that cause cells to lose control of cell division and turn into cancerous tumours. In addition, by revealing how digits develop, we can use this knowledge to understand the causes of birth defects that affect the limb and other structures in the body.
At present the questions we are focussing on are:
Left - Normal chick wing digit skeleton following replacement of the polarizing region with a GFP-expressing polarizing region. Cells derived from the polarizing region (green) form a thin stripe of cells along the margin of the most-posterior digit
Right - Classical grafting experiment in which a GFP-expressing chick wing polarizing region grafted to the anterior margin of another chick wing bud induces a mirror image duplication of the digits.
Current lab members
- Pickering J & Towers M (2016) Inhibition of Shh signalling in the chick wing gives insights into digit patterning and evolution.. Development, 143(19), 3514-3521. View this article in WRRO
- Saiz-Lopez P, Chinnaiya K, Campa VM, Delgado I, Ros MA & Towers M (2015) An intrinsic timer specifies distal structures of the vertebrate limb. Nature Communications, 6. View this article in WRRO
- Pickering J & Towers M (2014) Molecular Genetics of Human Congenital Limb Malformations. eLS.
- Towers M, Signolet J, Sherman A, Sang H & Tickle C (2011) Insights into bird wing evolution and digit specification from polarizing region fate maps.. Nat Commun, 2, 426.
- Towers M, Mahood R, Yin Y & Tickle C (2008) Integration of growth and specification in chick wing digit-patterning.. Nature, 452(7189), 882-886.