The LRI will become part of the new Francis Crick Institute opening in 2015

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The London Research Institute research groups are based at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Clare Hall. Our major research themes are: the biology of tumours and tissues, cellular regulatory mechanisms and genomic integrity and cell cycle.

Barry Thompson : Epithelial Biology


The Epithelial Biology Lab uses Drosophila as a model organism to explore how cells co-operate to construct epithelial tissues during development and how epithelial tumours can arise. We focus on the question of how cell polarity organises the behaviour of cells within an epithelium.

We take three main approaches:

1. Genome-wide in vivo RNAi screening;

2. Live-imaging of epithelial tissue development;

3. Computational modelling of cell polarity and cell behaviour.

We aim to combine these approaches to identify molecular mechanisms responsible for organising cell polarity and cell behaviour during tissue growth and morphogenesis in epithelia. Our recent work has examined two different types of cell polarity in epithelia, apico-basal polarity and planar polarity.