Dr Alex Webb, Reader in Cell Signalling
Circadian Signal Transduction
The research in my lab is focused on the physiological benefits of the circadian clock (Dodd et al. 2005, Science 309, 630 - 633) and the signalling mechanisms by which the circadian clock regulates cell physiology (e.g. Dodd et al., 2005 Trends in Plant Sciences 10, 15-21 and Love et al., 2004 Plant Cell 16, 956-966.) Current projects underway in the lab are positioning circadian oscillations of cytosolic free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]cyt), cyclic ADP ribose and NO in the circadian signalling network (Dodd et al., 2007 Science 318, 1789-1792), ascribing function to [Ca2+]cyt, cyclic ADP ribose and NO in the circadian signalling network, transcriptional hierarchy of circadian Ca2+ signalling, reverse genetic dissection of circadian Ca2+ signalling (Xu et al., 2007 Plant Cell 19, 3474-3490), mathematical modelling of circadian signalling, the role of sucrose in the plant circadian clock and gating of stimulus-induced Ca2+ signalling by the clock (Dodd et al., (2006) Plant J. 48, 962-973). In addition, we collaborate with Julian Hibberd's lab to investigate the role of the circadian clock in photosynthetic processes and Julia Davies' laboratory to investigate the role of annexins in Ca2+ signalling.
The lab is well equipped for circadian research. In addition to essential molecular biology and biochemistry equipment, we have specialist facilities for circadian analyses. These include three automated imaging and photon counting systems for luminescence measurements, two low background PMT systems for aequorin measurements, a 96 well plate fluorescence, luminescence and absorbance reader, a 16 camera automated leaf movement imaging system, a six channel infra red gas analysis system for automated circadian measurement of stomatal movements and photosynthesis. We have access to state of the art electrophysiology including planar bilayers, patch clamp, whole cell and MIFE apparatus. The group is based in a brand new laboratory and office space. Currently the laboratory consists of two technicians, six post docs and four graduate students.