Dr James Glover

Chancellor's Fellow

Research summary

The generation of structure from an initially homogeneous state, such as how an entire organism is developed from a single fertilised egg, is an enduring and fascinating scientific question. During embryonic development, the generation of spatially distinct repeating elements is essential for the correct function of many tissues and organs. These arrangements are called periodic patterns and are usually observed as spots or stripes. Forming autonomously from an initially homogenous state periodic patterns include the digits of the limb, the appendages of the skin including hair follicles, feathers and fingerprints, and the villi of the intestine. However, developmental disorders associated with disruption of these patterning events occur in all species, including humans and livestock, and affects multiple processes including skeletogenesis, gut formation and skin development.

Our research group is interested in how periodic patterns are produced during embryogenesis, with a particular focus on decoupling the influences of the molecular and mechanoceullar environment on these processes. We take a multidisciplinary approach incorporating aspects of several fields including cell biology, developmental biology, mathematics and engineering, using the chick embryo as our primary model. Our goal is to understand the core processes which drive vertebrate periodic pattern formation to provide insight into the causality of associated birth disorders and help guide future regenerative medicine strategies. 

Current research interests

Periodic patterning during vertebrate development. Tracheal formation. Development of novel avian transgenic technologies

Past research interests

Fingerprint pattern formation, hair follicle patterning, mammalian skin development, primordial germ cell migration and specification.

View all 15 publications on Research Explorer