Planar cell polarity and morphogenesis


  • Dr Peter Lawrence

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Cells in epithelial sheets are polarised in the plane of the sheet, as shown by the patterned orientation of mammalian hairs and insect bristles. This fundamental phenomenon, known as planar cell polarity (PCP), is seen across animal and plant development. Dr Lawrence studies PCP in the fruit fly Drosophila, the model system best suited to genetic and molecular analysis. He aims to understand the molecular mechanisms whereby cells read their orientation within an animal or organ and communicate that information to neighbouring cells. The mechanisms use intercellular molecular bridges.