Neil Brockdorff is a biologist who studies gene and genome regulation in mammalian development. A major focus of his work is to elucidate the molecular basis of X chromosome inactivation, the process that evolved in mammals to equalise X chromosome gene expression levels in XX females relative to XY males.
X inactivation serves as an important model to understand how epigenetic mechanisms, for example modification of DNA and histone proteins around which DNA is packaged, contribute to gene regulation in development. In early work Neil Brockdorff demonstrated that an unusual functional RNA molecule, Xist, controls the X inactivation process. Building on this finding he has elucidated key steps in Xist gene regulation during early development, and has defined major pathways through which Xist RNA induces chromosome wide gene silencing.
Neil Brockdorff is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow based in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford (https://sites.google.com/site/brockdorfflab/). He is a member of EMBO and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biologists and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford