University of Dundee

Alistair Langlands

I graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Genetics in 2008.  I had always been interested in doing a PhD afterwards, but was unsure about which field to study in as a wide range of research areas interest me.  The Wellcome Trust programme interested me because it allows me to work in different fields during the first year of rotation projects, and the range of supervisors available in Dundee gives me a wide choice.

As well as allowing me to narrow down the areas I am interested in, the rotation projects will increase my experience in the lab and give me the opportunity to learn new techniques before I start my main project next year.  Being able to choose a supervisor and project that I have already done some work on is another advantage of the programme that will help me in the 3 year project.

I am currently working with Anton Gartner on the C. elegans cep-1(p53) pathway, which induces apoptosis upon DNA damage in the germ line.  Studying this pathway in C. elegans gives insight into how the mammalian p53 pathway works normally and in cancer cells, in a much simpler system.  In my project, I am working on a newly discovered nuclease, GEN-1, and its role in the apoptotic pathway.  I am also working with a miRNA construct which plays a role in developmental timing.