Michael J. Gilchrist
Gene regulatory networks in early development We are interested in the early stages of vertebrate development. We study this at a systems level, using a combination of experimental data and computational techniques in both Xenopus and mouse models. Most of our current work is in Xenopus: this is an ideal model system, as many hundreds of developmentally synchronised embryos can be generated from a single clutch. In addition, the early embryonic axes can be readily identified shortly after fertilisation, facilitating study of axial asymmetry and growth. The Gilchrist lab is currently a 50:50 mix of experimental and computational scientists. Embryonic development is a complex and tightly controlled process, with a remarkably precise outcome. The underlying control system is only partly understood. Typically, transcription factors regulate the expression of individual genes, and the many relationships between transcription factors and their target genes combine to make gene regulatory networks. Our aim is to elucidate these networks using molecular and computational tools developed in the last few years, that enable a systematic and large-scale approach. Our long-term goal is to be able to understand development as a series of genetic interactions which need to proceed with the correct timing and in the right location within the growing embryo.
Lab MembershipsDevCom ITN (Principal Investigator/Director)
Gilchrist Group (Principal Investigator/Director)
The Francis Crick Institute
(44) 208 816 2451
Fax: (44) 208 906 4477