Above: A single-molecule FISH image of a brain from a larval Drosophila brain. The red circular structures are brain stem cells, or 'neuroblasts'.

Neural Stem Cell Development

In the Davis lab one of the key research themes we want to explore is that of how brains and synapses develop. This key biological process is central to many diseases and is also a  fundamental part of how memory and learning occurs. In our lab we use Drosophila as a highly tractable model system to study these processes , and to understand them on a molecular basis.  Of particular interest to our group is how  messenger RNAs are regulated by their localisation and stability, processes known to be important in neurodegenerative diseases. 

One of the topics we study is how the fate of neural stem cells or 'neuroblasts' is determined. We use sophisticated imaging techniques to study these cells in larval brains in order to better understand how mRNAs are involved in determining what type of daughter cell neuroblasts develop into. 


Lu Yang, Tamsin Samuels, Fran Robertson, Staci Thornton, Darragh Ennis