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Dr Howard Baylis

Dr Howard Baylis

Deputy Head of Department (Teaching)

University Reader in Cell Signalling Biology

Howard Baylis is accepting applications for PhD students.

Room S18/S25
Office Phone: 01223 (3)36630


I have worked on several systems in my career. Although, on the surface they look rather different I have always been interested in how cells use signals to respond to and modify their environment. I did my PhD on microbial molecular genetics at the John Innes Institute in Norwich. I then moved on to eukaryotes and worked on the biology of protozoan parasites undertaking post-docs in the Department of Biochemistry in Cambridge and at the University of York. I then decided to follow my interests in the context of whole animal biology and so switched to C. elegans. I was a post-doc and then an MRC Senior Non-clinical Fellow in a part of the Babraham Institute that was located in the Zoology Department. I was an MRC Fellow for ten years during which time I joined the Zoology Department and obtained a Lectureship position. More recently I was promoted to Reader.

Research Group

Baylis Group:
Deputy Head of Department, Reader in Cell Signalling Biology and Group Leader

Research Interests

We am aim to understand how signalling within and between cells is used to regulate the physiology and development of animals. In particular we are studying how signalling networks that use the second messengers calcium and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) are used to control the biology of C. elegans. Our research is always driven by a desire to integrate a mechanistic understanding of cell and molecular processes with whole animal function as revealed and measured by development, physiological function or behaviour. In one current project we are defining the mechanism by which cell signalling pathways regulate RNAi. In another we are dissecting interactions between calcium signalling and presenilins. Presenilins are of particular interest because mutations in human presenilins cause familial Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to this work I have an ongoing interest in collaborating with other laboratories to generate C. elegans models of human disease.

To tackle these questions we use a combination of approaches including; RNAi and genetics to perturb and analyse gene function, protein interaction techniques, cell biological and microscopical approaches to address function and assays of whole animal function.

Key Publications

Nagy AI, Vázquez-Manrique RP,  Lopez M,  Christov C,  Sequedo MD,  Herzog M,  Herlihy AE,  Bodak M, Gatsi R and  Baylis HA  (2015) IP3 signalling regulates exogenous RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans. EMBO Rep. 16, 341-350.  DOI 10.15252/embr.201439585

Baylis H A and Vazquez-Manrique R P (2011) Genetic analysis of IP3 and calcium signalling pathways in C. elegans. Biochim. Biophys. Acta-Gen. Subj. 1820, 1253-1268   DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2011.11.009  

Walker D S, Vazquez-Manrique R P, Gower N J D, Gregory E, Schafer W R and Baylis H A (2009)  Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate signalling regulates the avoidance response to nose touch in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Genet 5(9): e1000636. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000636

Parker S P, Walker D S, Ly S and Baylis H A (2009)  Caveolin-2 is required for apical lipid trafficking and suppresses basolateral recycling defects in the intestine of Caenorhabditis elegans. Mol Biol Cell 20, 1763-1771,

Kwan C S M, Vazquez-Manrique R P, Ly S, Goyal K and Baylis H A (2008) TRPM channels are required for rhythmicity in the ultradian defecation rhythm of C. elegans. BMC Phys 8:11doi:10.1186/1472-6793-8-11

Vazquez-Manrique R P, Nagy A I, Legg J C, Bales O A M, Ly S and Baylis H A (2008) Phospholipase C-ε Regulates Epidermal Morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Genet 4(3): e1000043. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000043