Understanding the mechanism of action of NICD

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physiology Development and Neuroscience

Abstract

Theme: World-Class Underpinning Bioscience

I am using Drosophila as a model organism to create optogenetic tools to dissect how NICD functions in the Notch signalling pathway. I am also mutating different domains of NICD to see how this affects its function.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011194/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1944853 Studentship BB/M011194/1 01/10/2017 30/12/2021 Jonathan Marcus Townson
 
Title Podcast with the Naked Scientists 
Description I wrote and spoke about using flies as a model organism for "The Naked Scientists" podcast at a "Communicating your Science" workshop with the Genetics Society. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact It is available to this day! And trained me in Science communication. 
URL https://www.thenakedscientists.com/podcasts/short/genetics-society-2018-frenetic-genetic
 
Title BLITz optogenetics in Drosophila 
Description An aim for the grant is to create an optogenetic construct for Notch signalling activation. One potential method is to use BLITz which has been previously used in cells and mice. I have successfully used this in Drosophila. It was found to require some adaptations for use in Notch signalling in order to counter mislocalisation of transcription factors and this has been overcome. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - non-mammalian in vivo 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact It raised further questions for us on the binding of Notch intracellular domain to it's transcription co-factors. This led to us talking over new ideas with Rhett Kovall and designing new experiments. 
 
Description Rhett Kovall 
Organisation University of Cincinnati
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have a Notch optogenetic construct we were looking to improve by obscuring a binding site for a transcription co-factor
Collaborator Contribution Rhett had the knowledge to tell us which residues to obscure and further we worked on designing an experiment to expose the sites in separate constructs.
Impact New constructs have been made and are still being tested
Start Year 2019
 
Description BAME school outreach progamme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Clare college Cambridge invited students from target areas in London (e.g. Tower Hamlets) who are part of the BAME community to come to the college for an open day and to hear more about studying at the University of Cambridge. As part of this I have delivered mock supervisions to the students on plant gene editing and cancer immunotherapy (for medics).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description No slides talk to postgraduate community 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk on my research, spending a lot of time on using flies as a model organism. The talk was done without slides to a postgraduate community of mixed backgrounds across the Sciences and Arts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Norfolk council schools higher aspirations scheme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Over one hundred year 12 students in Norfolk are participating in a higher aspiration scheme being run by the council and Gonville and Caius college Cambridge. I provide a one hour session every month for six months introducing them to further study/ideas in the field of Biology that they do not learn in school, the idea being to replicate the supervision type learning environment they would get if they successfully applied to the University of Cambridge and encourage them to do so. The title of my supervision series is "Molecule of life: how researchers are studying and using DNA".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description School visit (Warwick) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Year five students from across Warwickshire identified as being high achieving congregated in a single school and were introduced to new topics by Cambridge University researchers, one of which was me. I introduced them to DNA as being the "recipe of life" based on the BBSRC engagement activity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://bbsrc.ukri.org/engagement/schools/keystage3/discovering-dna/