About our research

 

What do we mean by 'Tissue Resilience' and why is it important?

Most of our body tissues (including our skin and internal organs) are frequently bombarded with harmful and toxic insults. These insults come from a variety of sources - including the environment (e.g. from sunlight, smoking or pollution), from within us (e.g. inflammation or metabolism) - as well as mechanical insults (e.g. accidental injury or surgery). It is crucial that our skin and internal organs have robust coping or 'resilience' strategies to withstand or repair this damage, in order to maintain their integrity and function.

 

Without proper resilience mechanisms, our tissues cannot resist or recover from the insult, eventually losing functional capacity and causing disease, such as the inability to heal wounds or a decline in renal function or fertility.

What is our lab interested in?

In our lab we want to discover the molecular and cellular details of these 'resilience' mechanisms.

How are they switched on in the right place and at the right time? In the long-term, can we translate our findings from the lab to the clinic to improve the resilience of patient's tissues during surgery? Or can we better identify individuals that are genetically predisposed to these types of debilitating disease?

How do we study this?

We employ a powerful interdisciplinary approach - combining studies in the genetically tractable fruitfly Drosophila together with analysis of human genetic epidemiological data.

An effective inflammatory response is pivotal to fight infection, clear debris and orchestrate the repair of injured tissues.

Wound repair

and inflammation

Embryonic tissue development through to organ maturation and establishment of physiological function in adulthood.

Development

and homeostasis

For over a century, the not-so-humble fruitfly has underpinned ground-breaking research and 5 Nobel prizes

Drosophila -

a valuable in vivo model

A growing field that investigates the genetic basis and causes of human disease using population-based studies.

Genetic

Epidemiology approaches