Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Thomas Pratt

Senior Lecturer

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Biography

After obtaining a BSc (Hons in Molecular Biology) from the The University of Edinburgh in 1992 and a PhD in Developmental Neurobiology from the The University of Edinburgh in 2001 I stayed in The University of Edinburgh to do post-doctoral research before establishing my own research group within the CIP in 2008.

My research in a nutshell

 

HOW DO CARBOHYDRATES INSTRUCT BRAIN DEVELOPMENT?

The mammalian brain is arguably the most complex biological organ ever to have evolved. The correct formation of the billions of connections between nerve cells ultimately required for brain function relies on the precise growth of nerve fibers. This process is regulated by genes during embryonic development when cells divide, differentiate and communicate with one another to self-assemble a brain.

 

http://www.ed.ac.uk/integrative-physiology/staff-profiles/research-groups/tom-pratt

  • Understanding how heparan sulphate, a complex sulphated sugar polymer, regulates intercellular communication involved in cell division, fate, and axon guidance.
  • Using the mouse forebrain as a model system employing transgenic methods.
  • Studying the development of the corpus callosum and the optic pathway.

This research addresses the fundamental biology of how complex molecular and cellular environments emerge and function in the brain. It will have applications in the development of strategies to understand and repair brains damaged by disease or wounding.

Teaching

Cells to Organisms 2

Biomedical Sciences 3

Mechanisms of Brain Development 3

Development and Disease Honours elective

Developmetal Neurobiology MSc elective

Cell communication MSc elective

Research Interests

HOW DO CARBOHYDRATES INSTRUCT BRAIN DEVELOPMENT?

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