Basson:Albert Basson

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Albert Basson (Group leader)

Image:MAB.jpg King's College website

Albert Basson obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1996. After post-doctoral training with Dr. Rose Zamoyska in Molecular Immunology at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London (1996-2001), he was awarded a Wellcome Trust International Prize Travelling Fellowship to initiate studies into the regulation of signaling pathways during embryonic development, first at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City (2001-2002) with Prof. Jon Licht and then at the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London (2003) with Prof. Ivor Mason. He spent a further two years (2004-2006) at the University of California, San Francisco as a visiting post-doctoral scientist in Prof. Gail Martin’s laboratory before taking up a position as Lecturer in the Department of Craniofacial Development. His research group is affiliated with the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology.

Research Interests

I am interested in understanding how signaling pathways are regulated during development and how deregulated signaling results in birth defects and cellular malfunction. We are primarily interested in the Fibroblast Growth Factor signaling pathway and negative feedback regulators of this pathway, the Sprouty genes. Our current research focuses on the role of these Sprouty genes in the development of the pharyngeal apparatus, the cerebellum and adult neural stem cells. The pharyngeal apparatus is a transient structure in the embryo, which controls the development of several important organs and structures such as the aortic arch, thymus and parathyroid glands, cranial sensory ganglia and ear. These organs are affected in developmental syndromes such as DiGeorge and CHARGE and our studies are aimed at providing a better understanding of the aetiology of these conditions. The cerebellum is an important control centre for movement and coordination. We have found that the level of FGF signaling has to be tightly controlled to ensure normal development of the cerebellum. We are dissecting the intricacies of intercellular signaling during cerebellar development and our aim is to provide a better understanding of the developmental defects that disrupt cerebellar development.

In collaboration with Dr. Andrew Brack’s group (Harvard University) we recently found that Sprouty1 regulates the maintenance of the adult muscle stem cell pool. We are investigating the role of these genes in the maintenance and function of adult neural stem cells in young and ageing mice, with the aim of understanding the roles of these genes in maintaining neurogenesis throughout life.
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