James Briscoe: Projects

Coordinating patterning and growth

Neuroepithelial cells form a single-cell-layered pseudostratified epithelium that undergoes interkinetic nuclear migration. Concomitant with patterning, the neural tube grows and both symmetric (proliferative) and asymmetric (neurogenic) cell divisions take place. In addition to its role in patterning, Shh signalling promotes the proliferation and survival of neural progenitors thereby contributing to neural tube growth. We are interested in understanding how the proliferation, orientation of division, interkinetic nuclear movement and neuronal differentiation are coordinated with patterning and what role growth plays in gene expression dynamics. To address these questions we are analysing the coordination of cell proliferation and patterning and developing a model of neural tube growth.


Coordination of progenitor specification and growth in the neural tube

Coordination of progenitor specification and growth in the neural tube (Click to view larger image)




Measuring growth dynamics

We aim to determine how the growth and patterning of the neural tube at the population level results from the collective behaviours of individual cells. To obtain the single cell resolution necessary for this, we are using clonal lineage tracing methods in mouse and chick. These data are used to determine the rates and probabilities of division and whether there is anisotropic growth produced by biases in the division orientation or cell movement. These parameters are integrated into a mathematical model that describes neural tube growth. We will use these data to make experimental predictions to test and refine the model and understand the molecular basis of the coordination of growth and patterning.

Selected publications

Anna Kicheva, Tobias Bollenbach, Ana Ribeiro, Helena PĂ©rez Valle, Robin Lovell-Badge, Vasso Episkopou, James Briscoe (2014) Coordination of progenitor specification and growth in the chick and mouse spinal cordScience 345: 1577-1580  

James Briscoe

James Briscoe

+44 (0)20 379 61388

  • Qualifications and history
  • 1996 PhD Imperial Cancer Research Fund/Kings College, London, UK
  • 1996 Post doctoral fellow Columbia University, New York, USA
  • 2000 Group Leader, Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
  • 2015 Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK