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Much of our work depends on advanced imaging, ranging from live imaging of m RNA transport and protein secretion to super-resolution imaging of polarity factors using custom-built microscopes with adaptive optics. An essential challenge in biology is to determine the intracellular and extracellular factors that maintain the correct rates of self-renewal and differentiation of progenitor populations.By studying this we can understand the evolutionary arms races between hosts and parasites.
In budding yeast, pole-derived astral microtubules target the spindle poles asymmetrically (bud versus mother cell) orienting the spindle to intersect the bud neck.
Spindle pole components are evolutionary conserved and studies in yeast have effectively predicted similar centrosome asymmetry in stem cell self-renewing divisions.
We seek to bridge the mechanisms of cell polarity, spindle orientation and cell fate under cell cycle control as is only attainable at this time using budding yeast to uncover fundamental principles for establishment of centrosome asymmetry. Cell polarity is essential for most cell functions and for several key developmental processes, such as cell migration, axis formation and asymmetric stem cell divisions, whereas a loss of polarity is a critical step in the formation of tumours.
We are analysing how cells become polarised and how this polarity controls the organisation of the cytoskeleton and intracellular trafficking.
The fundamental knowledge we gain allows us to study functions of centrosomes in the developing mouse embryo and in specific tissues such as the skin and pancreas with an aim of understanding how these go awry in cancer cells.
Ph D projects are available in all of these areas  Next-generation sequencing data grants an unprecedented level of insight into the composition of microbial populations.The first step is where a great number of students get stuck. The topic must be interesting, the topic must be essential and finally the topic must be informative.We use the power of functional genetics and genomics in C. Discrimination of sensory stimuli is essential for animals to form and retrieve specific memories.I am interested in the neuronal circuitry of this process, using the Drosophila larva as a model, with powerful tools for targeted manipulation of neurons, optogenetics, calcium imaging, and connectomics. Projects on the molecular genetics and genomics of gene silencing, DNA methylation, si RNA and RNAi  Drosophila molecular genetics provides an inroad to understand the regulation of the progression through mitosis and meiosis.We have a particular interest in the regulation of the replication of the centriole / basal body and its multiple functions in centrosomes and cilia.Projects include: to study mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA), including its transmission, recombination, and interaction with the nuclear genome.We are also keen on developing more genetic tools to understand how mt DNA impacts health and wellbeing.We have a special interest in Notch and Wingless signalling and are using mouse embryonic stem cells and the stem cells of the gut in Drosophila, as systems to explore these questions.The lab has an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and quantitative approaches to developmental problems.