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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W024144/1
Title: Understanding self-organised tissue patterning across scales
Principal Investigator: Fletcher, Dr AG
Other Investigators:
Strutt, Professor DI Cadby, Dr AJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mathematics and Statistics
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2022 Ends: 31 March 2025 Value (£): 1,420,181
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biophysics Non-linear Systems Mathematics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Dec 2021 Building Collaboration at the Physics of Life Interface Call 2 Full proposals December 2021 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
As our body grows, how does each organ control its shape and form? We know that when this doesn't happen correctly, we can get developmental diseases or cancer. If we can understand the ways of controlling shape and form, then perhaps we will be able to intervene to correct these diseases. We know that each organ or tissue is made of many cells and each cell is made of very many molecules such as proteins. But how do many small molecules interact together so that each cell has the correct form, and how do many cells interact together to form an organ with the correct form, many millions of times larger than each molecule?

One important way that an organ can control its form is by correctly orienting its cells relative to each other. This is true not just in humans, but in all animals, including the humble fruit fly. Here, we plan to study the fruit fly wing, where we can quickly and easily do experiments to manipulate the production of particular proteins and explore how this affects the orientation of individual cells and, in turn, the shape and function of the whole tissue (in this case, a wing).

We will also use mathematics and physics to put our experimental evidence together and help us to understand these mechanisms, by simulating them in the computer and making predictions about how the proteins and cells of the wing should behave if we manipulate it in some way. We will then test these predictions by doing further experiments, which will allow us to decide if the original assumptions were correct and ultimately understand the principles behind how the coordination of cell orientation contributes to the form and function of animal organs.

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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk