The lab moved to UCL in September 2017. I am currently a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Awardee and Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Genetics. My lab’s research spans fundamental questions in Cell, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology. The major focus is cell fate choice and patterning during development, where we study the molecular basis of how cells make decisions. Identifying the fundamental mechanisms underlying the regulation of cell fate choice will enable us to better understand how embryonic pattern is generated, as well as how cooperation and multicellularity have evolved. We primarily use Dictyostelium as model organism, where we employ genetic, computational, molecular and functional genomic approaches.
I began my independent research career as a group leader at the University of Manchester, initially as a Lister Institute Prize Fellow and ultimately Head of the Cellular and Developmental Systems Domain Grouping, where I was Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Genetics. Previously I was a Wellcome Trust International Prize Travelling Research Fellow at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas in the laboratories of Profs G. Shaulsky and A. Kuspa, using functional genomic approaches to study signalling during cell fate choice. Prior to that, I was a postdoctoral scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge where I studied small molecule signalling with Dr R.R. Kay, and the role of endocytosis in cell movement with Dr M.S. Bretscher. My PhD research on transcription factors involved in Drosophila neural and epidermal differentiation was with Prof S.J. Bray at the University of Cambridge.