POST-DOC position

Helen McNeill h.mcneill at ICRF.ICNET.UK
Fri Sep 10 06:49:52 EST 1999

Positions in Development

are invited for three year postdoctoral positions to study
morphogenesis and the establishment of cellular and planar polarity
during <italic>Drosophila</italic> development.  Cellular polarity can
be seen in epithelial cells as the differentiation of different
cytoplasmic and cell membrane domains, such as apical/basal and lateral
domains.  Planar polarity is the coordinate organisation of cells in a
tissue so that all cells orient to some common external point. While it
is becoming understood how cells define an apical/basal plane, and set
up cellular differentiation accordingly, it is less well understood how
cells define another, independent axis of polarity, known as planar or
tissue polarity. 

We are studying the development of cellular and planar polarity in the
<italic>Drosophila</italic> eye. The <italic>Drosophila</italic> eye is
composed of Dorsal and Ventral fields of ommatidia, with mirror-image
planar polarity, which are separated by a precise border known as the
equator.  The development of planar polarity in the eye requires the
tight association of cells in 'preclusters', acquisition of neuronal
identity, and a rotation of the cluster through 90° to a final
position.  We have identified a transcription factor, Mirror, which is
expressed in dorsal ommatidia.  Using mosaic analysis we have shown
that Mirror acts to regulate planar polarity in the eye, and that a
border of Mirror expression is essential for the precise development of
the equator (McNeill et al<italic>., Genes & Development</italic>,
1997).  Using analysis of <italic>mirror</italic> loss-of-function
mutants and overexpression studies, we have shown that this is at least
in part, due to Mirror's control of the Notch pathway through
inhibition of <italic>fringe</italic> expression.  We also have
evidence to suggest that Mirror can modulate cell-cell interactions in
the eye, and our preliminary data indicates that this is through
control of cell adhesion (Yang et al. 1999,

Genetic approaches will be used to explore the mechanisms by which
<italic>mirror</italic> establishes borders of planar polarity and
controls morphogenesis.  Cellular and molecular approaches will explore
how <italic>mirror</italic> controls cellular properties such as
adhesion and motility.  We are also investigating
<italic>mirror's</italic> role in early embryonic development.

The lab is located in the Lincoln's Inn Fields laboratories of the
ICRF.  The institute houses approximately 50 research groups.  The
different labs study diverse biological processes, including
cell-cycle, development, DNA replication, transcription, signal
transduction, DNA repair and apoptosis.   A core of developmental
biologists, including David Ish-Horowicz, Julian Lewis and Caroline
Hill, as well as our laboratory, provides a stimulating and interactive
environment for the study of development in many organisms.  One of the
advantages of the ICRF is its excellent core facilities, which,
combined with the interactive nature of the place, make it fairly easy
to utilize a broad variety of techniques. Finally, the lab is located
in the heart of the city, close to the many theatres, museams and parks
that London has to offer. 

Applicants should have a background in basic cell and/or molecular
biology techniques. Salary will be in the range £20,00 to £ 25,000 per
annum, inclusive ( ~ $33,000- $41,000). There are two positions
available.  One position is available immediately, the other starts
April, 2000

Interested candidates should send a Curriculum Vitae and the names and
addresses of two referees to:

Helen McNeill, Ph.D.


44 Lincoln's Inn Fields

London       WC2A 3PX

Tel:  44 (0)171 269 2840 ;

Fax:  44 (0)171-269 3417; 

h.mcneill at    	


Helen McNeill

Developmental Patterning Laboratory


44 Lincoln's Inn Fields



44-171-269-2840 (office)

44-171-269-3417 (FAX)         

44-171-269 -2841 (lab)

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