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Dr Timothy T Weil

Dr Timothy T Weil

University Lecturer

Fellow of Pembroke College

Timothy Weil is accepting applications for PhD students.

Room B31
Office Phone: 01223 (7)65391 or 01223 (3)36631


2010-2013 Junior Research Fellowship: Three year post as a member of the Senior Common Room at Worcester College, University of Oxford.

2008-2010 Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship: Fellowship for postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford.

2002-2008 Princeton University: Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Molecular Biology, Advisor: Prof. Elizabeth R. Gavis.

1998-2002 Washington University in St. Louis: Bachelor of Science, Major: Biology, Minors: Drama, Legal Studies, Pre Medical Studies. 

Research Group

Weil Lab:

Research Interests

Question: How is translational regulation of key localized determinants coordinated to establish the body plan?  

General Importance: Localized mRNA translation is a conserved mechanism for the spatial control of gene expression, enabling cells to target protein function in space and time. Functions requiring mRNA regulation include Drosophila and Xenopus axis formation, cell division in budding yeast, motility in chicken fibroblasts and synaptic plasticity in neurons. In humans, RNA localization plays a major role in Fragile X syndrome, Alzheimer disease as well as learning and memory development.

Vision: The overall objective of my work is to understand the cellular mechanisms underpinning the spatiotemporal coordination of the oocyte-to-embryo transition. I will focus on the anterior determinant bicoid (bcd), which is one of the best understood morphogens. Bcd protein initiates a cascade of developmentally regulated transcription factors that set up the embryonic body plan. This proposed research will fuse my previous work on bcd mRNA localization in the oocyte with my current work on dynamic partitioning of transcripts for translational control. My recent publication, coupled with exciting new data suggests that calcium is a key regulator of translational activation of bcd mRNA. My proposal will test this hypothesis and how bcd translation is regulated in space and time. 

Key Publications

Weil T. T., Parton R. M., Herpers B., Soetaert J., Veenendaal T., Xanthakis D., Dobbie I., Halstead J. M., Hayashi R., Rabouille C., Davis I.: Drosophila patterning is established by differential association of mRNA with P bodies. Nat Cell Biol.; 14(12) 1305-13 Dec. (2012).

Weil T. T., Xanthakis D, Parton R., Dobbie I., Rabouille C., Gavis E. R., Davis I.: Distinguishing direct from indirect roles for bicoid mRNA localization factors. Development; 137: 169-76. Jan. (2010).

Weil T. T., Parton R. M., Davis I., Gavis E. R: Changes in bicoid mRNA anchoring highlight conserved mechanisms during the oocyte-to-embryo transition. Curr Biol.;18: 1055-61. Jul. (2008).

Weil T. T., Forrest K., Gavis E. R.: Localization of bicoid mRNA in late oocytes is maintained by continual active transport. Dev Cell; 11: 251-262. Aug. (2006). 


Other Publications

Weil T. T., Parton R. M., Davis I.: Preparing individual Drosophila egg chambers for live imaging. J Vis Exp.; (60) Feb. (2012).

Weil T. T., Parton R. and Davis I.: Making the message clear: visualizing mRNA localization. Trends Cell Biol.; 20(7): 380-90 Jul. (2010).