Biochemistry and Biomedicine

Gene Expression

Gene expression is a complex, dynamic process which determines the function of a cell. We strive to understand the intricate mechanisms of this process and the role that it plays in various diseases and developmental disorders.

For more information, visit the Gene Expression Research Group website.

Our researchers

Dr Alexandros Bousios

Alex BousiosOur research group studies the function and evolution of plant genomes, with a particular emphasis on transposable elements (TEs) that represent their largest component. We investigate the evolution of TE sequences themselves, but also other aspects such as the interactions between TEs and host epigenetic defenses, and how the cycles of TE proliferation and decay affect the evolution of gene regulatory networks.

For more information, visit the Bousios Lab website.

Dr Leandro Castellano

Dr Leandro CastellanoLeandro Castellano’s lab aims to understand the role of short and long non-coding RNAs in epithelial cancer initiation and progression. The laboratory performs different type of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) applications including small RNA-seq, CLIP-seq, RIP-seq and ribosome profiling (Ribo-seq) as well as CRISPR genome editing technologies and bioinformatic analyses of big data.

For more information, visit Dr Castellano's profile

Dr Erika Mancini

Erika Mancini

Our research aims to determine the structural basis underlying the interplay between chromatin remodelling factors, transcription factors and DNA, a crucial requirement for the precise regulation of eukaryotic gene expression.

For more information visit the Mancini Lab website

Dr Rhys Morgan

Dr Rhys Morgan

My research aims to understand the role of the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway in normal haematopoiesis, and how these processes are disrupted during the development of leukaemia.

For more information, visit the Morgan Lab website.

Professor Simon Morley

Simon Morley

We are investigating the signalling pathways regulating mRNA utilisation in eukaryotic cells during proliferation and differentiation. Our main focus is on the initiation factor complex, eIF4F, and its regulated assembly during different phases of the cell cycle. We are also developing tools to investigate localised protein synthesis in cells maintained in 2D and 3D culture. Although the regulation of protein synthesis is fundamental to cell growth and survival, relatively little is actually known about the role of phosphorylation of translation initiation factors in modulating this process.

For more information visit the Morley Lab website. 

Dr Tracy Nissan

Tracy NissanmRNA turnover is essential for life and is important for controlling and shaping gene expression. Our group is investigating post-transcriptional processes involving mRNA degradation as well as those linked to mRNA decay such as the control of translation. Moreover, mRNA decay factors are concentrated in discrete cytoplasmic foci in the cell, which are induced upon stress and infection. These ubiquitous structures are aggregates of RNA and protein, whose constituents, including proteins carrying out mRNA degradation, are essential for many aspects of cellular biology. Our goal is to understand the effect of these structures on the biology of the cell and further explore how the central processes of mRNA degradation and translational control impact the cell's ability to respond and adapt to stress and disease.

For more information visit the Nissan Lab website

Dr Mark Paget

Mark PagetWe study the molecular biology of gene expression in bacteria with focus on the actinomycete family of bacteria. The large actinomycete family are Gram-postive bacteria with a high content of G+C in their DNA, and includes many bacteria of medical and indutrial importance. For example, the Streptomyces genus are famous as the source of most clinically useful antibiotics, whereas the major human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis kills more people world-wide than any other single infectious agent. Our primary model organism is the genetically and physiologically well-characterised Streptomyces coelicolor. We have recently widened our interests to include the control of fermentation in the bioethanol-producing thermophile Geobacillus thermoglucosidasius.

For more information visit the Paget Lab website.

Professor Alison Sinclair

Alison SinclairCancer virus interactions with host cells. Epstein Barr virus (EBV)

EBV is the causative agent of Burkitt's Lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease, Nasopharyngeal Carcimoma and Lymphoproliferative diseases in immunocompromised people. By adulthood, most people are infected with EBV and the virus persists in the body for life.

Dr Sinclair's research research group investigate the interactions between EBV and host cells that direct whether the virus establishes latency and promotes cancer development or undergoes lytic replication - destroying the cell. Members of the group can be found under the "people" section.

For more information visit the Sinclair Lab website.

Professor Michelle West

Michelle West

The research in our laboratory is focussed on deciphering the mechanisms involved in B-cell transformation by the cancer-associated herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

For more information visit the West Lab website