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Microtubule organisation in Drosophila

Supervisors: Dr Paul Conduit

Project summary:

We are interested in how different types of microtubule networks are generated in different types of cells, such as mitotic cells, neurons and sperm cells. For this, we use Drosophila as an animal model system, which offer an unparalleled mix of powerful genetics, imaging and biochemistry. We are currently trying to understand how different microtubule organising centres (MTOCs) form and how they become competent to organise microtubules. We are particularly interested in how the protein complexes that catalyse microtubule formation are assembled and recruited to these MTOCs. There are various projects available in the lab and any potential student is encouraged to contact us directly. 

What the student will be doing:

Depending on the project, the student will be doing live and fixed fluorescence cell imaging, fly genetics, molecular biology (cloning etc.), and/or biochemistry (protein interactions, complex purification etc.)


Conduit PT (2016). Microtubule organization: a complex solution. Journal of Cell Biology

Conduit PT, Wainman A,  Raff JW. (2015). Centrosome function and assembly in animal cells. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology.

Conduit PT, Richens JH, Wainman A, Holder J, Vicente CC, Pratt MB, Dix CI, Novak ZA, Dobbie I, Schermelleh L, Raff JW. (2014). A molecular mechanism of mitotic centrosome assembly in Drosophila. eLife 

Tovey CA, Tubman CE, Hamrud E, Zhu Z, Dyas AE, Butterfield AN, Fyfe A, Johnson E, Conduit PT. (2018). γ-TuRC heterogeneity revealed by analysis of Mozart1. Current Biology.


The lab is funded by Wellcome Trust and BBSRC grants that provide money for consumables and facilities (imaging etc.).