Professor Bill Harris
Director of Studies in Neuroscience
Professor of Anatomy
What is your subject and specific area of study?
My subject is Neuroscience and Developmental Biology.
My work focuses on the following questions, and others: Where does the nervous system come from in the embryo? How does it grow to the right size and shape? How do stem cells turn into more committed neuronal progenitors and how do these cells know when to leave the cycle and differentiate into neural and glial progenitors? Once born, how do these precursors differentiate? How do they choose a particular cell type to become amongst a myriad of possible fates, and by what cellular mechanisms do these cells become properly polarised, branched, and integrated into the neural circuitry of the developing brain? What mechanisms allow neurons to send out long axons that forge pathways to their targets in the brain, and recognise specific cells within these targets?
What makes Clare College such a good place to study your subject?
Cambridge is a great place to study neuroscience or developmental biology as we tremendous strengths in these areas. See, for example:
Clare college has several fellows, research associates and graduate students who do cutting edge research in these fields and students at Clare have access to these researchers throughout their years here
Successive frames from a time-lapse study of transgenically labelled cell dividing in the zebrafish retina, generating two daughter cells, one of which becomes a retinal ganglion cell (yellow)
Development of the Nervous System (D Sanes, T A Reh and W A Harris)
(Academic Press/Elsevier Press)
Retinal Development (E Sernagor, S Eglin, S, W A Harris and R Wong)
(Cambridge University Press)