Mechanisms of lineage restriction in development and reprogramming


  • Prof Anna Philpott

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Cells in the developing embryo need to know how to become one cell type or another and how to keep that identity throughout its life. This is controlled by the activity of specific parts of DNA and stabilised by the binding of control proteins. 

We will investigate why some cells in the developing frog tadpole are more resistant to changing their identity than others when we manipulate proteins that direct cell fate. We will also see what happens when we try and make one cell adopt two identities simultaneously. 

Increased understanding of the changes in DNA and proteins that cause a cell to adopt a stable identity will help us explain how normal development is regulated. It will also help us make new cells to repair and replace those damaged in diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.