Richard Green, a James Black Scholarship student working in the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology under the tutelage of Dr Kim Dale, completed his summer experience by creating an artistic impression of his project.
Richard commented, "Previous work in the lab has shown crosstalk between the Notch and Shh signaling pathways in the dorso-ventral patterning of the developing spinal cord in order to set up the distinct domains of different neuronal subtypes characterised by their unique expression of specific transcription factors – I created my own vision of this biological process. I investigated the expression of the SHH target gene Patched, and compared it to the expression of the Notch target genes cHairy2 and cHairy1 along the dorsal-ventral axis of the neural tube of chicken embryos to establish when these pathways are active in this tissue with respect to each other.
I experienced a number of setbacks but with a small degree of pleading with the chicken embryos, I managed to produce data showing cHairy2 and Patched appear to be co-expressed while Patched and cHairy1 appear to be mutually exclusive. This data supports over-expression experiments in the lab showing cHairy2 can induce Patched expression while cHairy1 is potentially an inhibitor of Patched.
I would like to thank my supervisor Magda Stasiulewicz for advising me and teaching me and look forward to working on my Honours project with Dr Dale."