Dr Alec Christie

Henslow Research Fellow
Downing College, Cambridge

Upcoming Events

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06

03

Every breath you take and every move you make - understanding cellular oxygen sensing mechanisms

Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe FRS

  • 18:00 - 19:00 Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

The maintenance of oxygen homeostasis is a key physiological challenge, inadequate oxygen (hypoxia) being a major component of most human diseases. The lecture will trace insights into human oxygen homeostasis from the founding work of William Harvey on the circulation of the blood to the molecular elucidation of a system of oxygen sensing that functions to measure oxygen levels in cells and control adaptive responses to hypoxia. The lecture will outline how the oxygen sensitive signal is generated by a set of ‘oxygen splitting’ enzymes that modify a transcription factor (HIF) to signal for its degradation (and hence inactivation).  It will attempt to illustrate and rationalise the unexpected in biological discovery and discuss the interface of discovery science with the development of medical therapeutics.

Please Note: This lecture will NOT be recorded and is an in-person lecture only. 

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11

03

Using organoids to reveal what sets the human brain apart

Dr Madeline Lancaster

  • 18:00 - 19:00 Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

The human brain sets us apart as a species, yet how it develops and functions differently to that of other mammals is still largely unclear. This also makes it difficult to understand how disorders of the brain arise, and therefore how to treat them. To understand such a complex organ, we have developed cerebral organoids, or brain organoids, 3D brain tissues made from stem cells that mimic the fetal brain. Such organoids are allowing us to tackle questions previously impossible with more traditional approaches. Indeed, our recent findings provide insight into various factors that influence the developing brain, and how the human brain becomes so uniquely large enabling our special cognitive abilities. 
 

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