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Andrea Brand

2017 BrandAndrea Brand PhD FRS FMedSci, Head of Institute's Wellcome labs, Wellcome Senior Investigator, Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Biology, Royal Society Darwin Trust Research Professor, Member of the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience.

Europe PMC | Pubmed

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Time to wake up: regulation of stem cell quiescence and proliferation

Stem cell populations in tissues as varied as blood, gut and brain spend much of their time in a mitotically dormant, quiescent, state. A key point of regulation is the decision between quiescence and proliferation. The ability to reactivate neural stem cells in situ raises the prospect of potential future therapies for brain repair after damage or neurodegenerative disease.

Understanding the molecular basis for stem cell reactivation is an essential first step in this quest. In Drosophila, quiescent neural stem cells are easily identifiable and amenable to genetic manipulation, making them a powerful model with which to study the transition between quiescence and proliferation. These stem cells exit quiescence in response to a nutrition-dependent signal from the fat body, a tissue that plays a key role in the regulation of metabolism and growth.

My lab combines cutting-edge genetic and molecular approaches with advanced imaging techniques to study the reactivation of Drosophila neural stem cells in vivo. This enables us to deduce the sequence of events from the level of the organism, to the tissue, the cell, and finally the genome.


Selected publications:

• Contreras EG, Egger B, Gold KS, Brand AH (2018) Dynamic Notch signalling regulates neural stem cell state progression in the Drosophila optic lobe. Neural Dev. Nov 22;13(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s13064-018-0123-8.

• Hakes AE, Otsuki L, Brand AH (2018) A newly discovered neural stem cell population is generated by the optic lobe neuroepithelium during embryogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster. Development. Sep 25;145(18). pii: dev166207. doi: 10.1242/dev.166207.

• Cheetham SW, Gruhn WH, van den Ameele J, Krautz R, Southall TD, Kobayashi T, Surani MA, Brand AH (2018) Targeted DamID reveals differential binding of mammalian pluripotency factors. Development. 2018 Oct 17;145(20). pii: dev170209. doi: 10.1242/dev.170209.

• Otsuki L & Brand AH (2018) Cell cycle heterogeneity directs the timing of neural stem cell activation from quiescence. Science. Apr 6;360(6384):99-102. doi: 10.1126/science.aan8795. 

• Cheetham SW & Brand AH (2018) RNA-DamID reveals cell-type-specific binding of roX RNAs at chromatin-entry sites. Nat Struct Mol Biol. Jan;25(1):109-114. doi: 10.1038/s41594-017-0006-4.

• Spéder P & Brand AH (2018) Systemic and local cues drive neural stem cell niche remodelling during neurogenesis in Drosophila. Elife. Jan 4;7. pii: e30413. doi: 10.7554/eLife.30413. 

• Marshall OJ & Brand AH (2017) Chromatin state changes during neural development revealed by in vivo cell-type specific profiling. Nat Commun. Dec 22;8(1):2271. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02385-4. 

• Caygill EE & Brand AH (2017) miR-7 Buffers Differentiation in the Developing Drosophila Visual System. Cell Rep. Aug 8;20(6):1255-1261. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.07.047. 

• Marshall OJ, Southall TD, Cheetham SW, Brand AH (2016) Cell-type-specific profiling of protein-DNA interactions without cell isolation using targeted DamID with next-generation sequencing. Nat Protoc. Sep;11(9):1586-98. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2016.084.

Brand group (Nov18 to Feb19)

Video: Meet Andrea Brand


Neha Agrawal • Diana Arman • Benjamin Badger • Yohanns Bellaiche • Buffy Eldridge-Thomas • Catherine Davidson • Anna Hakes • Leia Judge • Robert Krautz • Jocelyn Tang • Christine Turner • Jelle van den Ameele • Rebecca Yakob