Dr. Jimena Berni has been a member of the department since 2009. Her research focuses on the general area of developmental neuroscience. In particular she investigates the relationship between neuronal circuits and behaviour, with emphasis on the diversification of circuits that control region-specific movements along the body axis. Specifically, Jimena studies the role of evolutionarily conserved Hox genes in specifying different neuronal networks and their assembly during development. This work will shed light on the mechanism and processes that generate regional specialisation of structure and function in the central nervous system.
Dr. Paul Conduit joins us from Oxford. He is a cell biologist investigating how microtubule formation is regulated in space and time. Microtubules are polarised polymers that have a wide range of important roles in cells, including organising and transporting intracellular particles, vesicles and organelles, and separating duplicated chromosomes during mitosis. Paul uses a combination of Drosophila genetics and live cell imaging to study microtubule formation at different microtubule organising centres (MTOCs) in different cell types. He aims to determine how MTOCs form and how they recruit the protein complexes required to catalyse microtubule formation.