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Department of Genetics

Joseph Baxter microscope 590


The Genetics Department offers the choice of “wet” or “dry” projects, which are undertaken in the Lent Term.

Examples of project titles from previous years

  • The role of CTCF in imprinted domains.
  • Imprinted gene products in lactation and postnatal resource control.
  • Maintenance and establishment of DNA methylation at variably methylated regions in early embryos.
  • A combined phylogenetic and epigenetic approach to understand domestication of transposable elements in the human genome.
  • Control of terminal differentiation in the Drosophila germline.
  • Exploring the role of mechanical signals in the specification of the gastrula organizer.
  • Connectomics approach to study the role of an unusual pair of neurons in Drosophila learning circuitry.
  • Quantitative patterning roles of Prd and Ftz in the Drosophila pair-rule gene network.
  • Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the axon degeneration disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia.
  • Solving the mystery of microtubule organisation in epithelial cell.
  • Mechanisms at the interface between cell polarity and the cell cycle.
  • TOPBP1 in mitosis.
  • Molecular dynamics simulations of protein binding to supercoiled DNA.
  • Estimation of mutation rates in Malawi cichlids and small ermine moths.
  • Characterising respiratory adenovirus diversity with a novel Nanopore sequencing method.
  • The genetic basis of virus resistance in Drosophila.
  • Dengue virus evolution.
  • Inferring stem cell dynamics from the shape of a single-cell genealogy.
  • The long-term consequences of hybridization, or When can we fix heterosis?
  • Biofilm Formation in E. coli: Investigating the Tryptophanase-Related Mechanisms.
  • Activity of urinary extracellular vesicles against E. coli biofilms.
  • Understanding the evolution of flower patterning using transcriptomic approaches.
  • Role of flavonols during petal development.

Examples of BBS dissertation titles from previous years

Past topics have included:

  • Can we assign a function to 80% of the DNA in the human genome?
  • The biology of CRISPR/CAS systems and their uses in eukaryotic genome engineering.
  • How can genomic data be used to understand cancer evolution and to assist with cancer therapy?
  • How does a cell make a decision to divide – or stop dividing?
  • How have bdelloid rotifers avoided sex for so long?
  • Discuss the concepts presented in C H Waddington’s 1942 paper in Nature ‘Canalisation of development and the inheritance of acquired characteristics’.
  • Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals - fact or fiction?
  • Many human cancers are aneuploid. Yet aneuploidy has detrimental effects on human development and has been shown to reduce cellular fitness : Consider this conundrum.
  • Why do endosymbiotic bacteria have small genomes?
  • Cell and gene therapy – the future of human monogenic disorders.
  • Have regulatory changes been more important for the evolution and divergence of species than changes in protein coding sequence?
  • Discuss recent developments in the mechanistic understanding of cell size control.
  • Transposable elements and their impact on human health - new opportunities in the era of large scale human genome sequencing.
  • Can the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia eliminate vector-borne disease?
  • Safeguarding genome integrity: DNA damage and repair in heterochromatic domains of eukaryotic genomes.
  • Genetic Mechanisms of pattern formation on the surface of plants and animals.
  • What can single cell 'omics approaches really tell us about biology?
  • Understanding the ability for chikungunya virus to persist endemically in populations.
  • How important was the impact of archaic admixture on the human genome?
  • How are important are mutations of large effect for adaptation by natural selection?
  • What has experimental evolution taught us about how new species arise?