Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) signalling
Apoptosis induced proliferation
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
Our group seeks to understand how cells within tissues integrate intra- and extra-cellular signals to regulate polarity, growth and homeostasis after cell death in young and old organisms. We use Drosophila genetics to study the biology of a well-understood population of stem cells in the fly testis. Adult stem cells maintain tissues by replenishing lost or dying cells to ensure the integrity of the organism. All cells within an organism, including stem cells, can be challenged by cellular stresses that lead to cell death. How they respond to damage-induced apoptosis by dividing to maintain the number of cells necessary for the homeostasis of a tissue is a process known as Apoptosis Induced Proliferation (AIP). In both normal development and adult life after damage it is vital that cell populations reach the correct size, to maintain their function, but that they do not over-grow, which can lead to cancer. We are interested in how AIP functions in the stem cells of the fly testis and how they respond to damage to ensure the stem cell population is not depleted but also that it does not over grow.