I have a longstanding interest cell signalling and how it controls and coordinates behaviour of different cell types.
During my PhD, I investigated how BMP signalling is regulated by the extracellular matrix and integrins.
My postdoc work in the Gould lab focuses in growth regulation, using the Drosophila larva as a model.
I studied how growth is regulated sex-specifically to give differences in body size between males and females. Surprisingly, I discovered that sex differences in body growth are controlled remotely by subsets of neurons in the brain. Interestingly, this is rather similar to our model for sex-specific growth regulation in mammals.
Currently, I am investigating how some organs, but not others, are able to grow during starvation, a phenomenon termed organ sparing. The two questions I am particularly interested in are:
- What are the signals that stimulate the growth of spared organs during starvation?
- Where to do spared organs obtain the nutrients from to fuel their growth?
To address these questions, I am using a wide range of techniques, combining in vivo genetics with metabolomics, cell/tissue culture, protein biochemistry and imaging.