The control of gene expression is essential for the development and survival of viable organisms. This research unit is interested in the mechanisms responsible for this control. Research scientists on the team have discovered novel genetic regulators that control the development of certain tissues, such as the pituitary gland, the jaw, the difference between arms and legs, and certain brain neurones during embryogenesis. They also study the mechanisms by which hormones exert their action on gene expression. Other research projects, supported by the GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Molecular Genetics, are aimed at understanding the function of active regulator genes in neurones that degenerate in Parkinson’s disease and using that knowledge to develop new therapies.