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Fellows Directory

Christine Holt

Professor Christine Holt FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2009


Christine Holt is a developmental neuroscientist who has deciphered the molecular signals that guide the wiring of the neuronal connections from the eye to the brain. Using innovative techniques to image live cells in the brains of amphibian embryos, she has been able to analyse the signals that tell growing nerve fibres which way to turn.

The axons, or fibres, of retinal ganglion cells, which carry visual information from the eye, navigate unerringly over long distances to reach precisely mapped target zones in the brain. Christine’s work suggests that guidance molecules steer the growth of axons by locally triggering the production of proteins in the growth cones at their tips.

These mechanisms also come into play when axons regrow after they have been severed, and Christine’s research points the way to possible new therapies for nerve damage, neurodegenerative disease and disorders of brain development. In 2011, she was awarded the Remedios Caro Almela Prize in Developmental Neurobiology.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Axon guidance, axon maintenance, growth cone, live cell imaging, local protein synthesis, Messenger RNA, Retinal ganglion cells, RNA trafficking, RNA-binding proteins, Topographic maps, translation reporters, Xenopus


  • Ferrier Medal and Lecture

    For pioneering understanding of the key molecular mechanisms involved in nerve growth, guidance and targeting which has revolutionised our knowledge of growing axon tips.