Major research themes in the Davis Lab
Regulation of neural stem cell division and proliferation in the developing brain.
We have recently discovered that regulated mRNA stability and translation play major roles in regulating when neural stem cells stop dividing, amongst other key processes that govern how a brain develops.
The molecular basis of synaptic plasticity, underlying memory and learning.
We have recently discovered new mRNA binding proteins that function at the distal tips of axons to regulate synaptic growth in response to neuronal activation, processes important in memory and understanding RNA based neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases.
Single molecule mRNA FISH Screen.
We have been systematically characterising the distribution of mRNAs in the tips of axons and in the mushroom bodies, equivalent to the mammalian hippocampus, where memory are formed. We have discovered many unexpected examples of post-transcriptional regulation in these structures.
mRNA Localisation in Drosophila
We are interested in understanding how the fly brain develops and functions, as a model for the human brain in health and in disease. We are elucidating the role of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in neural stem cell development and their differentiation into neurons, as well as in synaptic plasticity during memory and learning. These mechanisms include mRNA transport and localised translation, as well as mRNA stability and processing.