With my lab, we work on developmental and structural plasticity in the nervous system. We want to understand how cell mass changes – cell proliferation, cell survival, cell death and cell shape – link structure and function in the nervous system, to achieve structural integrity during growth, in regeneration and repair, and in the course of evolution, enabling appropriate function and behaviour. We use Drosophila as a model organism, for its genetics, the amazing experimental opportunities it offers, and to uncover fundamental principles of how the nervous system and brain are formed and work. Finding this out will also help solve nervous system injury and disease.
A sense of enjoyment about life, a passionate love of science, wonderful supporting family and friends, willingness to work very hard both in the lab and at home, and not needing much sleep, have driven me. I thought if having a family and science happen to occur at the same time in life, I would go for both. Philip and I tried as much as possible to make career choices that would help us both. We have always shared childcare and domestic duties, and have always spent much time together as a family, playing, doing sport and art, eating and talking together daily, at weekends and on many great holidays.