William Hamilton

William Hamilton

Assistant professor

How are distinct cellular identities established in development? How are time and space measured? These are some of the most fundamental questions in developmental biology. My work aims to understand how external signals are interpreted by cells and how they convert these signals into precisely timed responses, in what can be a very noisy environment. This work has indicated that the framework to choose between self-renewal and differentiation, i.e. the gene-regulatory networks that underpin these choices, are hardwired into stem cells. These regulatory networks are interdependent and rely on extracellular signalling for dominance to be shifted from one to the other. However, this process is complex and is undoubtedly dependent on a host of intrinsic factors. I now hope to expand my research into the field of protein translation to understand how signalling, cell size and shape, as well as cellular fitness impact on cell identity. This new direction will be interdisciplinary, facilitated by the strong theoretical and experimental interactions I enjoy as a member of StemPhys.  

I obtained my PhD at the Edinburgh University in the labs of Tilo Kunath and Mike Tyers, where I worked on defining factors that regulate MAPK signalling in mouse embryonic stem cells. I then joined the Brickman lab in Copenhagen where I expanded upon this to uncover how MAPK signalling regulates transcription and plasticity during early stem cell differentiation 

 

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