Dr Adam Rodaway
New Hunt's House
3rd Floor North
King's College London at Guy's
London SE1 1UL
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 6469
Dr Rodaway graduated from Cambridge University with a BA in Natural Sciences (Zoology) in 1987. He undertook a PhD in the laboratory of David Bentley at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund from 1987 - 1991. This was followed by a postdoctoral post with Professor Roger Patient and Professor Nigel Holder in the Randall Division at King's College London and then a Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship from 2000-05. He was appointed to the Cardiovascular Division in 2005.
I am currently using the zebrafish as a model system to study cell fate and cell fate decisions in the early vertebrate embryo. Zebrafish is particularly suited to such studies because of the wide variety of genetic and experimental manipulations possible, combined with the transparency of the embryos, which allows in vivo imaging of cell behaviours.
Embryonic Blood and Vasculature
The main focus of work is on the formation of the blood and vascular systems in the embryo. Gene expression patterns (Brown et al, 2000, Gering et al, 1998) imply that these tissues may be generated via a common precursor, the 'haemangioblast', while overexpression studies (Gering et al, 1998) show that the generation of this cell type can be induced by the helix-loop-helix transcription factor, SCL.
Cell migration and fate
In order to be able to follow the movement and fate of blood and vascular precursors, we have generated lines of transgenic fish that express green fluorescent protein under the control of the SCL locus. These faithfully recapitulate the endogenous expression of the SCL gene.
ETS transcription factors and vascular development.
We are using these lines to image (using timelapse confocal microscopy) the migration of blood and vascular precursors in living zebrafish embryos. We are using a combination of cell-labelling and cell-transplantation techniques to assay the fate of these cells.
We have previously shown that the ETS family transcription factor, Fli1 is expressed in endothelial cells and their progenitors (Brown et al, 2000). However, antisense knockdown of Fli1 expression has only a late effect on vascular integrity, implying that loss of its function in the early embryo may be compensated by other ETS transcription factors. Ets1 is known to be expressed in vascular endothelium, and we have cloned a novel ETS family transcription factor efr1 (Erg Fli Related) that is also expressed in these tissues.
Phagocyte development and behaviour
Phagocytes are blood cells whose roles include defence against infection and tissue remodelling in development. We have cloned several markers specifically expressed in these cells, and have used them to assay the effect of experiments on phagocyte development. We are currently attempting to generate transgenic lines expressing fluorescent proteins in phagocytic cells. These will allow in vivo studies of phagocyte behaviour in development and infection.