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Graduate students                     

  Dates in lab Current affiliation
Marion Rozowski 1996 - 2000  
Chun-Che Chang 1996 - 2000 2009   Dept. of Entomology, National Taiwan University
Christen Mirth 1997 - 2000 2010   Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Lisbon
Fernando Roch 1998 - 2000 2011   Centre de Biologie du Développement, UPS, Toulouse
Andrew Peel 2001 - 2005 2006    Michalis Averof lab, Inst. Mol. Biol. & Biotech.  Crete
Kristen Panfilio 2001 - 2006 2008    Siegfried Roth lab, Inst. for Dev. Biology, Cologne
Chloe Cyrus Kent 2001 - 2007 2009    Dept. of Earth Sciences, Cambridge
Eddy Nason 2002 - 2003 2010    Institute on Governance, Toronto Office
Martin Jaekel 2003 - 2007 2011    Agence National de la Recherche, Paris
Monica Garcia Solache 2005 - 2008 2010    Casadevell Lab, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Franz Kainz 2005 - 2009 2009    Fresenius-Kabi, Vienna, Austria
Billy Hinchin 2006 - 2009 2011    Susan Cox lab, King’s College, London
Elizabeth Sefton 2008 - 2009 2009    Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
Alan Marron    
Matt Benton    
Vera Hunnekuhl    


Postdoctoral Fellows

  Dates in lab Current affiliation
Chuck Cook 1995 - 2003 2010    EMBL/EBI Panda Group, Hinxton, Cambridge
Guillaume Balavoine 1996 - 1998 2010    Institut Jacques Monod, Paris
Peter Dearden 1998 - 2000 2002 …Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Otago, New Zealand
Claudio Alonso 1998 - 2004 2004…School of Life Sciences, Sussex
Chris Klingenberg 1999 - 2001 2002    School of Life Sciences, University of Manchester
Ariel Chipman 2001 - 2004 2007    The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Cassandra Extavour 2001 - 2007 2007   Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard
Joakim Eriksson 2005 - 2008 2009    Stollewerk lab, Queen Mary College, London
Johannes Jaeger 2006 - 2008 2008    Centre de Regulació Genòmica, Barcelona
Joel Savard  2006 - 2008 2009    Editor of ‘Trends in Genetics’
Carlo Brena    
Anastasios (Tassos) Pavlopoulos    


Independent Research Fellows

  Dates in lab Current affiliation
David Stern 1997 - 2001 2011   Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm
Max Telford 2000 - 2003 2004   Department of Biology, University College, London
Giselle Walker 2004 - 2007 2011   Dept. of Anatomy & Structural. Biology Otago, NZ


Other researchers

  Dates in lab Current affiliation where known
Alex Shingleton 2001 2009    Department of Zoology, Michigan State University
Andrew Chan 2006 – 2007 2009    Kaufman Lab, Department of Pathology, Cambridge
Xiaoxuan Tian 2008 - 2009 2010    Institute of Entomology, Nankai University, China
Zivkos Apostolou 2009 - 2010 2010    Inst. Mol. Biology & Biotechnology, Heraklion, Crete.
Anna Stief 2011-12 2012 University of Potsdam, Germany.



How to turn a wing into a haltere - Hox gene targets during metamorphosis

Hox genes are the master regulators that cause different parts of the body to develop into different structures – for example, into mouthparts on the head, but legs on the thorax. It is still not known how Hox genes bring about these complex changes.  In work published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), we have shown that the set of downstream targets regulated by one Hox gene changes dramatically as development proceeds.

We have studied the Hox gene Ultrabithorax, (Ubx for short) in fruit flies. In all insects, Ubx is active in the hind wings to make them different from the forewings. In flies, this difference is dramatic – the hind wings develop as small round balancing organs called halteres, while the forewings forms the large flat wing blades used for flying.   We have engineered a system that allows us to activate the Ubx gene in developing wing blades, where it would not normally be expressed. If activated throughout development, this causes the wing blades to develop as reduced balloon-like structures resembling halteres, (see picture above).  However, we can also turn Ubx on at precisely controlled times during development, and then measure its effects in the wing with assays that monitor the activity of thousands of other genes in the genome (microarray profiling and quantitative RT-PCR).

We find that the spectrum of genes regulated by Ubx changes dramatically as the animal proceeds through metamorphosis, from larva to pupa to developing adult.  This explains, at least in part, how just one gene can orchestrate such complex changes in the shape and size of an organ.

The Hox gene Ultrabithorax regulates distinct sets of target genes at successive stages of Drosophila haltere morphogenesis, PNAS USA, 108(7): 2855-2860].