After completing my degree in Cell Physiology and Pharmacology in 2012, I began work at Cambridge in the lab of Matthias Landgraf, where I was working with Drosophila as a model system. Our research focus was to establish how the nervous system can homeostatically maintain a physiologically preferable activity level (output), in response to increased stimulus from the brain (input).
- Conduit Lab:
- PhD student
My current area of research focuses on how the cellular skeleton (cytoskeleton) is formed in developing and developed neurons, again using Drosophila as a model organism.
Fundamentally, microtubules are comprised of just 3 proteins (α, β and γ-tubulin), however, their functions are diverse. During cell division MTs lock onto and pull apart chromosomes, they also serve as pushing and pulling forces, morphing cells into different shapes. I am interested in microtubules in neurons, whereby they a- form tracks for motor machinery to transport organelles from the cell body to the dendrites, and b- provide pushing forces for dendritic and axonal elongation during neuronal growth.
I am interested in how the neuron can regulate the complexity of its dendritic tree by initiating site specific growth of microtubules. Interestingly, Drosophila neurons do not use centrosomes as microtubule organizing centers (MTOCS), but instead likely use fragments of Golgi termed Golgi outposts (GOPs). My project involves piecing together the proposed relationship between Golgi Outposts and microtubule nucleation proteins with microtubule nucleation events in Drosophila neurons, thus furthering our understanding of global nervous system regulation and complexity.