University of Oxford,
South Parks Rd.,
We are interested in understanding how the fly brain develops and functions, as a model for the human brain in health and in disease. We are focusing on elucidating the role of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in neural stem cell (neuroblast) development and their differentiation into neurons, as well as in synaptic plasticity during memory and learning. These mechanisms include mRNA transport and localised translation, as well as mRNA stability and processing.
Keywords: mRNA, Neuronal development, Neural stem cells, Drosophila, live cell imaging, synaptic plasticity, neuromuscular junction, brain, neurons, memory, learning, neuromuscular diseases.
We use a wide range of methodologies in our research, from established methods to cutting edge technologies and purpose-built microscopes.
We welcome informal enquiries from prospective Post-Doc and PhD students
Selected Recent Publications
Browse a selection of movies and still images taken using the advanced imaging techniques we use in the lab.
We are particularly interested in how RNA is involved in the development of the nervous system and memory & learning. But what is RNA? The DNA that is in every one of our cells contains vast amounts of information (genes) used as instructions to make proteins. When a cell needs to make a protein this part of the DNA is copied and the copy is called RNA. These are then sent to the cell machinery in order for a protein to be made. Of particular interest to us are RNAs located at the distant end of nerve cells that are used to enable quick growth of nerves and synapses a long way from the cell nucleus. In order to study these tiny molecules we use cutting-edge microscopy techniques.
In the Davis lab we use fruit flies to study how the nervous system works on a microscopic level. These are the same fruit flies commonly seen in kitchens in the summertime. Perhaps surprisingly, fruit flies are very similar to humans in how they control the function of their cells, making them an excellent model system to use. The fly nervous system works in essentially the same way as it does in mammals, with the same types of nerves as well as a distinct brain with similar structures to those found in a human brain.
In the Davis lab we have a team of people from diverse scientific backgrounds who bring a wide range of skills to our research.
+44 (0)1865 613271
We are interested in understanding how the fly brain develops and functions, as a model for the human brain in health and in disease.
We are very excited to announce a fascinating interdisciplinary DPhil studentship co-supervised by Ilan in conjunction with the Martin Booth of the Engineering Dept., Alfredo Castello of Biochemistry and Dr. Phillipa Timmins of Aurox Ltd.
This unique project involves building a microscopy platform tailored to the specific needs of the project. This would then be used to study neural stem cells and the early stages of infection of Sindbis virus. Students interested in microscopy, neurobiology, RNA biology and viral biology are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We particularly encourage students with Engineering and Physics experience to apply, extensive biology experience is not a requirement. Further information can be found here