Postdoc and PhD positions available in the Grewal lab to study metabolism and growth control during animal development

The lab is looking to recruit new postdocs and grad students. Our lab investigates how growth is controlled during animal development. We use a combination of molecular and genetic approaches to investigate the cell-cell signalling pathways and the genetic mechanisms that govern the control of cell, tissue and body growth in Drosophila. Our main focus to-date has been the conserved insulin and TOR kinase pathways, and understanding how they regulate cellular and animal metabolism to drive growth. Further information on our research can be found here. Recent publications can be found here.

POSTDOCS: applicants with a Ph.D. and strong background in developmental biology, genetics, or molecular biology are encouraged to apply. Interested individuals should send a CV, a short statement of research interests, and three names of references to grewalss@ucalgary.

GRAD STUDENTS: applicants with a strong undergraduate degree in any area related to the biological sciences are encouraged to apply. Interested individuals should send a CV, a short statement of research interests, and three names of references to grewalss@ucalgary.

This weeks lab journal club: nutrient and neuronal contol of tracheal branching

In a recent lab journal club, we discussed a recent paper from the Miguel-Aliaga lab:

Neuronal Control of Metabolism through Nutrient-Dependent Modulation of Tracheal Branching, 2014, Cell, 156, 69.

In this paper, the Miguel-Aliaga group show that nutrient rich conditions promote tracheal branching in the larval, especially the gut, whereas upon starvation this branching is reduced . This control of branching relies on both systemic insulin signaling and also local signaling to trachea via VIP- and insulin-secreting neurons, whose activity is regulated by dietary nutrients. Moreover, the starvation effects on branching could mimicked by genetically inhibiting the insulin/PI3K pathway in tracheal termini (we wondered whether cell-autonomous overexpression of insulin/PI3K signaling could also promote branching, especially in starved animals)

We really liked this paper: Another great example of how the simplicity and versatility of fly genetics can be used to unravel important cell-to-cell and tissue-to-tissue signaling mechanisms that govern whole animal physiology.