Alex Gould

Physiology and Metabolism Laboratory

The environment shapes our physiology and metabolism and this impacts upon health and disease. Our research focuses on identifying the protective mechanisms that allow developing and adult animals to cope with environmental challenges such as malnutrition and oxidative stress. This work also aims to shed light on the complex interactions between environmental factors and the genes influencing metabolic and age-related diseases.

Much of our research utilises the fruit fly Drosophila, a model organism that shares many genes with humans and has contributed to our understanding of several different aspects of health and disease. We are also following up some of our most significant Drosophila findings in mammalian models. The lab uses a wide variety of experimental approaches including genetics, confocal microscopy, imaging mass spectrometry and metabolomics.

The developing central nervous system of Drosophila showing that lipid droplets in glia (red) are in close proximity to neural stem cells (green).

The developing central nervous system of Drosophila showing that lipid droplets in glia (red) are in close proximity to neural stem cells (green).

Selected publications

Stefana, MI; Driscoll, PC; Obata, F; Pengelly, A; Newell, CL; MacRae, JI and Gould, AP (2017) Developmental diet regulates Drosophila lifespan via lipid autotoxins. Nature Communications 8, Article number: 1384

Bailey, AP; Koster, G: Guillermier, C; Hirst, EMA; MacRae, JI; Lechene, CP; Postle, AD and Gould, AP (2015) Antioxidant Role for Lipid Droplets in a Stem Cell Niche of Drosophila. Cell 163, 340-353

Steinhauser, ML; Bailey, AP; Senyo, SE; Guillermier, C; Perlstein, TS; Gould, AP; Lee, RT and Lechene, CP (2012) Multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry quantifies stem cell division and metabolism. Nature 481, 516-520 

Louise Y. Cheng, Andrew P. Bailey, Sally J. Leevers, Timothy J. Ragan, Paul C Driscoll and Alex P. Gould. (2011) Anaplastic lymphoma kinase spares organ growth during nutrient restriction in Drosophila. Cell 146(3), 435-447 

Sousa-Nunes, R; Yee, LL and Gould, AP (2011) Fat cells reactivate quiescent neuroblasts via TOR and glial insulin relays in Drosophila. Nature 471, 508-512 

Cédric Maurange, Louise Cheng and Alex P. Gould (2008) Temporal transcription factors and their targets schedule the end of neural proliferation in Drosophila. Cell  133(5), 891-902 

Miguel-Aliaga, I; Thor, S and Gould, AP (2008) Postmitotic specification of Drosophila insulinergic neurons from pioneer neurons. PLoS Biology 6, e58 

Gutierrez, E; Wiggins, D; Fielding, B and Gould, AP (2007) Specialized hepatocyte-like cells regulate Drosophila  lipid metabolism.  Nature 445, 275-280


Alex Gould
+44 (0)20 379 61452

  • Qualifications and history
  • 1990: Ph.D. in developmental genetics. University of Cambridge,  UK
  • 1992: Beit post-doctoral Fellow, Medical Research Council (MRC) National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
  • 1998: Group leader (Head of Division from 2012), MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
  • 2015 Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK