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Dr Helen Weavers

Dr Helen Weavers

Dr Helen Weavers
PhD(Cantab.)

Research Collaborator

Research Fellow

Area of research

Understanding the cell biology of tissue resilience during development, inflammation and wound repair

Office Rooms F.22/FW4
Biomedical Sciences Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TD
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 2209
+44 (0) 117 331 2210

Summary

**Wellcome Trust funded Post-doc position available**

Please see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/jobs/find/details.html?nPostingId=15194&nPostingTargetId=68955&id=Q50FK026203F3VBQBV7V77V83&lg=UK for details.

 

Our tissues are frequently exposed to a wide-range of endogenous and exogenous insults that could threaten the integrity of their genome, proteome and metabolome. This occurs when tissues are injured, as inflammatory cells generate toxic products, and also in otherwise healthy tissues as similar products are generated as a normal byproduct of cellular metabolism and physiology. How do our tissues withstand these insults? In our lab, we explore the diverse, powerful defense strategies used by developing and repairing tissues to make them resilient to this damage.

We use an exciting interdisciplinary approach that combines in vivo imaging and genetics in Drosophila with human genetic epidemiology, to explore tissue resilience mechanisms in development and wound repair.

For more information see our lab website.

Biography

I began my research career as a Research Assistant and later Wellcome Trust-funded PhD student with Professor Helen Skaer (University of Cambridge) studying renal development using Drosophila as a powerful, genetically tractable in vivo model. We found that fruitflies possess podocyte-like cells called ‘nephrocytes’, which share striking molecular, structural and functional parallels with their mammalian counterparts (Weavers et al., 2009 Nature). I also found that inter-tissue crosstalk was essential for kidneys to develop with stereotypical 3-dimensional looped architecture (Weavers & Skaer, 2013 Dev Cell).

Building on my interest in tissue morphogenesis, I undertook a postdoc with Professors Paul Martin and Will Wood (University of Bristol) to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying the wound inflammatory response. We have shown that Drosophila macrophages must be developmentally ‘primed’ to respond to wounds (Weavers et al., 2016 Cell), and in collaboration with mathematicians at Imperial, characterised the attractant signals responsible for immune cell recruitment (Weavers et al., 2016 Current Biology). More recently, we have developed a novel Drosophila model of immune cell extravasation (Thuma et al., 2018 JCB).

I have now setup my own group funded by a Sir Henry Dale Research Fellowship (jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and Royal Society) at the University of Bristol, leading an exciting interdisciplinary research program that combines in vivo imaging and genetics in Drosophila with human genetic epidemiology, to explore tissue resilience mechanisms in development and wound repair.

For more information see my lab website

   renal tip cell anchorage   Drosophila pupa  In vivo imaging injury-induced inflammation

 

Keywords

  • Tissue repair
  • Inflammation
  • Cytoprotection
  • Genetic Epidemiology
  • Developmental biology
  • In vivo imaging
  • Genetics
  • Drosophila
  • Oxidative stress

Memberships

Organisations

School of Biochemistry

School of Biochemistry staff

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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