Chris Thompson

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Chris Thompson

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Chris Thompson

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Genetics, Evolution and Environment

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I am currently Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Genetics and Head of the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment. My lab’s research spans fundamental questions in Evolutionary Biology, particularly how cooperation and multicellularity have evolved. We primarily use Dictyostelium as model organism, where we employ modelling, genetic, computational, molecular and functional genomic approaches. Our research has shown the existence of ‘cheater’ strains that do not pay the costs of cooperation (Current Biology, 2009). We have identified different mechanisms that limit their spread (Nature 2004, Nature 2005, PLoS Biol 2011, Current Biology 2015). More recently, we have found that D. discoideum strains recognise one another and can change their social ‘cheating’ strategies(Nature Comms 2017, PNAS 2018) . We are now trying to understand the molecular or genetic pathways underpinning these behaviours.

Before my lab moved to UCL in September 2017, I began my independent research career as a group leader at the University of Manchester, initially as a Lister Institute Prize Fellow and ultimately Head of the Cellular and Developmental Systems Domain Grouping, where I was a Wolfson Royal Society Awardee and Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Genetics. Previously I was a Wellcome Trust International Prize Travelling Research Fellow at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas in the laboratories of Profs G. Shaulsky and A. Kuspa, using functional genomic approaches to study signalling during cell fate choice. Prior to that, I was a postdoctoral scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge where I studied small molecule signalling with Dr R.R. Kay, and the role of endocytosis in cell movement with Dr M.S. Bretscher. My PhD research on transcription factors involved in Drosophila neural and epidermal differentiation was with Prof S.J. Bray at the University of Cambridge.

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Chris Thompson currently has the following exemplar projects advertised:

Phd Students

Chris Thompson does not currently supervise any London NERC DTP PhD students

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