Professor Barry Thompson was an EMBL Australia group from early 2019 until October 2023, focused on epithelial biology.
His laboratory used both Drosophila and mice as model organisms to explore how cells construct epithelial tissues during development and how epithelial tumours can arise. They focused on the question of how cell polarity organises the behaviour of cells within an epithelium.
They aimed to combine three main approaches to identify molecular mechanisms responsible for organising cell polarity and cell behaviour during tissue growth and morphogenesis in epithelia:
- Genetic analysis of gene functions in vivo;
- Live-imaging of epithelial tissue development; and
- Computational modelling of cell polarity and cell behaviour.
After obtaining a PhD from the University of Cambridge, Professor Barry Thompson worked as a postdoc at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, where he used Drosophila genetics to study Hippo signalling and tumour formation, and visited the Institute for Molecular Pathology in Austria.
He established his own laboratory at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute in 2007 and studied the genes that control tissue growth and form in Drosophila and mouse models. He was also a senior group leader at the Francis Crick Institute.
Professor Thompson was an EMBL Australia group leader at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (at the Australian National University, Canberra) from early 2019 until October 2023.
Development (2018) 145(5).
|Mechanical strain regulates the Hippo pathway in Drosophila.|
PLOS Biology (2019) Oct 15.
|The Hippo pathway integrates PI3K-Akt signals with mechanical and polarity cues to control tissue growth.|
Development (2016) 143: 1674-1687.
|Integrin signalling regulates YAP and TAZ to control skin homeostasis.|
The EMBO Journal (2015) 34: 940-954.
|The Spectrin cytoskeleton regulates the Hippo signalling pathway.|
Cell (2006) 126(4): 767-74.
|The Hippo pathway regulates the bantam microRNA to control cell proliferation and apoptosis in Drosophila.|