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Gene expression, chromatin and signalling

Understanding the mechanisms of gene expression

Unlocking development, disease and evolution

Changes in gene expression underlie development, disease and evolution. We aim to understand the mechanisms that instruct these changes and how they impact on human developmental disorders and diseases such as cancer, fibrosis and arthritis.

Gene expression is a complex and dynamic process, controlled by a variety of signals across space and time, giving rise to intricate and changing expression patterns.

The overall aim of our research in this area is to understand the molecular basis to these events and their significance in the context of organismal homeostasis, development and disease. We are studying how gene transcription is initiated and terminated and how post-transcriptional mechanisms impact on this.

A combination of gene-centric and genome-wide approaches are used and, in the latter, the importance of long range genomic interactions and 3D folding of the chromatin are a major theme in our research.

A variety of model organisms, including yeast, Dictostelium, frogs, zebrafish and mice, are used alongside research directly in human cells and tissue.


Major research activities


Our researchers

Discover more about some of our key researchers making outstanding contributions to research in gene expression, chromatin and signalling.

Principal investigators

View a full list of our principal investigators to identify which work in your field of interest.

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Featured researchers

Professor Hilary Ashe PhD

Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

Professor Hilary Ashe

Hilary Ashe’s research uses Drosophila as a model organism to understand how BMP signalling and gene expression dynamics control cell fate decisions. Recent research from the Ashe lab has identified the transcriptional network downstream of BMP signaling in the Drosophila embryo, leading to their proposal of a new model for BMP-responsive transcriptional activation.

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Dr Stephen Eyre PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Stephen Eyre

Stephen Eyre’s research has been fundamental to our current understanding of the genetics of rheumatoid arthritis. Most recently his work has demonstrated how regulatory genetic elements implicated in disease susceptibility can act over long distances, implicating likely causal genes and biological pathways that drive rheumatoid arthritis.

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Dr Kimberly Mace

Senior Lecturer

Dr Kimberly Mace

Kimberly Mace's group are investigating how ageing and age-related diseases such as diabetes alter the inflammatory response during tissue repair and regeneration. In particular, we focus on mechanisms underlying deregulation of gene expression, such as altered transcription factor function and epigenetic changes to chromatin landscapes. We use a variety of models to understand how these changes impact myeloid cell behaviour and result in chronic inflammation and impaired wound healing.

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Dr Gino Poulin PhD


Dr Gino Poulin

Gino Poulin’s research seeks to understand how signalling events impact on the epigenome to regulate ageing, stress responses, and transgenerational inheritance. His latest work, in collaboration with Alan Whitmarsh’s lab, revealed that the mitochondria signals to the nucleus to alleviate oxidative stress via the respiratory enzyme CLK–1.

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Researcher in the lab


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