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We dissect the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying a range of developmental and reproductive processes.

Development cell biology © Intracellular compartments in Drosophila secondary cells (Benjamin Kroeger)

Understanding growth, evolution and the onset of disease

Our development and cell biology theme is home to the largest assembly of developmental biologists in the University, and tackles research questions fundamental to understanding evolution, growth, organ formation, the onset of disease and tissue regeneration.

While our research interests are diverse and necessarily cut across other themes with the department, all of our work is guided by a fundamental desire to dissect the molecular and cellular mechanisms which underlie developmental and reproductive processes. The majority of our work is conducted in vivo, embracing the inherent complexity of using model organisms in order to acquire the most clinically relevant findings possible.

Our research is, through necessity, multidisciplinary, bringing together techniques such as state-of-the-art live cell imaging and genetic analysis to understand the developmental, evolutionary, and reproductive aspects of life. Our researchers currently study some of the most fundamental questions facing biology today: how cells are regulated to move and correctly develop embryos, for instance, or the basic science which dictates healthy development of cerebral and cardiovascular systems.

Unsurprisingly, our research is having a significant impact on clinical thinking. While some aspects of our work focus  specifically on disease-related problems - such as the regulation of growth and its relevance to cancer and diabetes - others tackle issues that look set to become increasingly important in the near future, such as how to restore embryonic potential to adult stem cells for tissue repair.

All told, we believe that by understanding development, it is possible to shed light on some of the current and future challenges in translating basic biological understanding into clinical medicine.



Groups within this theme

Understanding Cerebellar Development and Disease
Becker Group

Understanding Cerebellar Development and Disease

Optical probing of neural networks in the developing neocortex
Butt Group

Optical probing of neural networks in the ...

Proton dependence of intracellular calcium signalling in the cerebellum in health and disease - role of extracellular pH sensing receptors and ion channels.
Glitsch Group

Proton dependence of intracellular calcium ...

Growth Regulation and Cancer: mTORC1, Exosomes and Cellular Amino Acid Sensing
Goberdhan Group

Growth Regulation and Cancer: mTORC1, Exosomes ...

Genetic Dissection of Sexual Behaviour
Goodwin Group

Genetic Dissection of Sexual Behaviour

Cerebral Cortical Development and Evolution
Molnar Group

Cerebral Cortical Development and Evolution

Heart regeneration & development
Mommersteeg Group

Heart regeneration & development

Development, homeostasis and regeneration of the cardiovascular system
Smart Group

Development, homeostasis and regeneration of the ...

Investigating the Genetic and Environmental Causes of Congenital Heart Disease
Sparrow Group

Investigating the Genetic and Environmental ...

Patterning and morphogenesis of the early mammalian embryo
Srinivas Group

Patterning and morphogenesis of the early ...

We study postnatal and adult mammalian brain stem cells to uncover fundamental developmental mechanisms and disease pathogenesis.
Szele Group

We study postnatal and adult mammalian brain stem ...

Cell Biology of Exosome Signalling, Secretion and Growth in Normal and Cancer Cells at Super-Resolution
Wilson Group

Cell Biology of Exosome Signalling, Secretion and ...

Latest news

Anant parekh honoured by the royal society

Anant Parekh honoured by the Royal Society

Congratulations are in order to Professor Anant Parekh FRS on his election to The Royal Society.

Watch kay davies give the 2019 croonian lecture

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Event video for the Croonian Lecture 2019, delivered by Professor Dame Kay Davies on Wednesday 10 April 2019 at The Royal Society.

Elizabeth haythorne wins poster awards from two major diabetes organisations

Elizabeth Haythorne wins Poster Awards from two major Diabetes organisations

Congratulations are in order for Elizabeth Haythorne, the winner of Poster Awards from Diabetes UK and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes