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Professor Andrea Brand FRS

development and neuroscience

Andrea Brand is Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Biology and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator at the Gurdon Institute.

Academic interests

One of the goals of research in neurobiology is to repair or regenerate neurons after damage to the brain or spinal cord. Before we can understand how to repair the nervous system, however, we must first learn how the nervous system is put together.

Neurons are produced by multipotent precursors called stem cells. The aim of our work is to identify the genes that direct the different behaviours of stem cells and their progeny in the developing nervous system. It may then become possible to induce stem cells to generate new neurons at will, or induce neurons to regenerate, so as to repair the brain after injury or disease.

Degrees obtained

  • BA Hons, Biochemistry, University of Oxford.
  • PhD, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge.

Awards and prizes

  • Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
  • Honorary Fellow, Brasenose College, University of Oxford.
  • Member European Molecular Biology Organization.
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award.
  • Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award.
  • William Bate Hardy Prize, jointly with Professor Robin Irvine.
  • Hooke Medal, British Society for Cell Biology.
  • Special Award of Excellence, Wellcome Biomedical Imaging Awards.


  • Head of Wellcome Trust Laboratories, The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, 2015 to present.
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, The Gurdon Institute and Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, 2014 to present.
  • Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Biology, The Gurdon Institute and Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, 2007 to present.
  • Senior Group Leader, The Gurdon Institute, 2005 to present.
  • Director of Research in Developmental Neurobiology, The Gurdon Institute, 2003 to 2007.
  • Invited Professor, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France, 2002.
  • Research Fellow, King's College, Cambridge, 1999 to 2003.
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Basic Biomedical Research, The Gurdon Institute, 1993 to 2003.
  • Leukemia Society Special Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA, 1988 to 1993.
  • Helen Hay Whitney Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1986 to 1988.

Other interests

Ballet, contemporary dance.

Department link

Publications, links and resources

  • Cattenoz, P., Popkova, A., Southall, T.D., Aiello, G., Brand, A.H. and Giangrande, A. (2016) Functional conservation of the Glide/Gcm regulatory network controling glia, hemocyte, and tendon cell differentiation. Genetics 202, pp 191-219. PMID: 26567182.
  • Marshall, O.J. and Brand, A.H. (2015) damidseq_pipeline: an automated pipeline for processing DamID sequencing datasets. Bioinformatics, 1–3 doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btv386.
  • Spéder, P. and Brand, A.H. (2014) Gap junction proteins in the blood-brain barrier control nutrient-dependent reactivation of Drosophila neural stem cells. Developmental Cell 30, pp 309-321.
  • Southall, T.D., Davidson, C.M., Miller, C., Carr, A. and Brand, A.H. (2014) Dedifferentiation of neurons precedes tumour formation in lola mutants. Developmental Cell 28, pp 685-96.
  • Gold, K.S. and Brand, A.H. (2014) Optix defines a neuroepithelial compartment in the optic lobe of the Drosophila brain. Neural Development 9,18; DOI: 10.1186/1749-8104-9-18.
  • Wolfram, V., Southall, T.D., Günay, C., Prinz, A., Brand, A.H. and Baines, R.A. (2014) The transcription factors Islet and Lim3 combinatorially regulate ion channel gene expression. J. Neurosci 34, pp 2538 –2543.
  • Neville, M.C., Nojima, T., Ashley, E., Walker, J., Southall, T.D., van de Sande, B., Parker, D.J., Marques, A.C., Fischer, B., Ritchie, M.G., Brand, A.H., Russell, S., Aerts, S. and Goodwin, S.F. (2014) Male-Specific Fruitless Isoforms Target Neurodevelopmental Genes to Specify a Sexually Dimorphic Nervous System. Current Biology 24, pp 229-41.
  • Loza-Coll, M.A., Southall, T.D., Sandall, S.L., Brand, A.H. and Jones, D.L. (2014) Regulation of Drosophila intestinal stem cell maintenance and differentiation by the transcription factor Escargot. EMBO J. 33, pp 2983-96.
  • Korzelius, J., Naumann, S.K., Loza-Coll, M.A., Chan, J.S.K, Dutta, D., Oberheim, J., Gläßer, C., Southall, T.D., Brand, A.H., Jones, D.L. and Edgar, B.A. (2014) escargot maintains stemness and suppresses differentiation in Drosophila intestinal stem cells. EMBO J. 33, pp 2967-82.
  • Lowe, N. et al. and the UK Drosophila protein trap screening consortium including Brand lab members: Brand, A.H., Chell, J., Cranston, M., Davidson, C.M., Dods, J.S., Edoff, K., Egger, B., Gold, K.S., Southall, T.D., Speder, P., Thompson, A.R.C. (2014) Analysis of the expression patterns, sub-cellular localisations and interaction partners of Drosophila proteins using a pigP protein trap library. Development 141, pp 3994-4005.
  • Otsuki, L., Cheetham, S. and Brand A.H. (2014) Freedom of expression: Cell-type-specific profiling. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. 3, pp 429-43.
  • Liu, J., Speder, P. and Brand, A.H. (2014) Control of brain development and homeostasis by local and systemic insulin signalling. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 16 (Suppl. 1), pp 16–20.
  • Southall, T.D., Gold, K.S., Egger, B., Davidson, C.M., Caygill, E.E., Marshall, O.J. and Brand, A.H. (2013) Cell type-specific profiling of gene expression and chromatin binding without cell isolation: Assaying RNA Pol II occupancy in neural stem cells. Developmental Cell 26, pp 101-112.
  • Cheetham, S.W. and Brand, A.H. (2013) Insulin finds its niche. Science 340, pp 817-818.
  • Wolfram, V., Southall, T.D., Brand, A.H. and Baines, R.A. (2012) The LIM-homeodomain protein Islet dictates motor neuron electrophysiological properties by regulating K+ channel expression. Neuron 75, pp 663-674.
  • Caygill, E.E., Gold, K.S. and Brand, A.H. (2012). Molecular Profiling of Neural Stem Cells in Drosophila melanogaster. In The Making and Un-Making of Neuronal Circuits in Drosophila, ed, Bassem A. Hassan.
  • Murray, M.J., Southall, T.D., Liu, W., Fraval, H., Lorensuhewa, N., Brand, A.H. and Saint, R. (2012) Snail dependent repression of the RhoGEF Pebble is required for gastrulation consistency in Drosophila melanogaster. Dev Genes Evol 222, pp 361-8.
  • Gold, K.S. and Brand, A.H. (2012) Transcriptome analysis of Drosophila neural stem cells. Methods Mol Biol 916, pp 99-110.
  • Spéder, P., Liu, J., Brand, A.H. (2011) Nutrient control of neural stem cells. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 23, 724-729.
  • Brand, A.H. and Livesey, F.J. (2011) Neural stem cell biology in vertebrates and invertebrates: more alike than different? Neuron 70, pp 719-29.
  • Egger, B., Gold, K.S. and Brand, A.H. (2011) Regulating the balance between symmetric and asymmetric stem cell division in the developing brain. Fly 5, pp 237-41.
  • Franco, M., Seyfried, N.T., Brand, A.H., Peng, J. and Mayor, U. (2011) A novel strategy to isolate ubiquitin conjugates reveals wide role of ubiquitination during neural development. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, May;10(5):M110.002188.
  • Chell, J.M. and Brand, A.H. (2010) Nutrition-responsive glia control exit of neural stem cells from quiescence. Cell, 143, 1161-73.
  • Egger, B., Gold, K.S. and Brand, A.H. (2010) Notch regulates the switch between symmetric and asymmetric neural stem cell division in the Drosophila optic lobe. Development, 137, pp 2981-2987.
  • Bardin, A.J., Perdigoto, C.N., Southall, T.D., Brand, A.H., and Schweisguth, F. (2010) Transcriptional control of stem cell maintenance in the Drosophila intestine. Development 137, pp 705-714.
  • Monier, B., Pelissier, A., Brand, A.H. and Sanson, B. (2010) An actomyosin-based barrier inhibits cell mixing at compartmental boundaries in Drosophila embryos. Nature Cell Biology 12, pp 60-65.
  • Southall, T.D and Brand, A.H. (2009) Multiple transcription factor binding identifies neural stem cell gene regulatory networks. EMBO J. 28, pp 3799-807.
  • Ruiz i Altaba, A. and Brand, A.H. (2009) Entity vs. property: tracking the nature, genesis and role of stem cells in cancer. EMBO Reports 10, pp 832-6.
  • Hensch, T.K. and Brand, A.H. eds. (2009) Development. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 19, pp 109-111.
  • von Trotha, J.W., Egger, B. and Brand, A.H. (2009) Cell proliferation in the Drosophila adult brain revealed by clonal analysis and BrdU labeling. Neural Development 4, 9.
  • Southall, T.D., Egger, B., Gold, K.S. and Brand, A.H. (2008) Regulation of self-renewal and differentiation in the Drosophila nervous system. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. LXXIII, pp 523-528.
  • Brand, A.H. (2008) A new dawn for Aurora? Nature Cell Biology 10, pp 1253-1254.
  • Chell, J.M. and Brand, A.H. (2008) Forever young: death-defying neuroblasts. Cell 133, pp 769-771.
  • Southall, T.D., Elliott, D.A and Brand, A.H. (2008) The GAL4 System: A versatile toolkit for gene expression in Drosophila. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 2008, doi:10.1101/pdb.top49.
  • Southall, T.D. and Brand, A.H. (2008) Generation of driver and reporter constructs for the GAL4 expression system in Drosophila. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 2008: pdb.prot5029.
  • Wu, P.S., Egger, B. and Brand, A.H. (2008) Asymmetric cell division: lessons from Drosophila. Semin Cell Dev Biol 19, pp 283-293.
  • Elliott, D.A and Brand, A.H. (2008) The GAL4 System: a versatile system for the expression of genes. Methods Mol Biol. 420, pp 79-95.
  • Egger, B., Chell, J.M. and Brand, A.H. (2008) Insights into neural stem cell biology from flies. Philosophical Transactions Roy Soc B: Biological Sciences 363, pp 39–56.
  • Egger, B., Boone, J.Q., Stevens, N.R., Brand, A.H and Doe, C.Q. (2007) Regulation of spindle orientation and neural stem cell fate in the Drosophila optic lobe. Neural Development 2, 1.
  • Edoff, K., Dods, J.S. and Brand, A.H. (2007). Detection of GFP during nervous system development in Drosophila melanogaster. Methods Mol Biol. 411, pp 81-98.
  • Southall, T.D. and Brand, A.H. (2007). Chromatin profiling in model organisms. Briefings in Functional Genomics and Proteomics doi: 10.1093/bfgp/elm013.
  • Choksi, S.P., Southall, T., Bossing, T., Edoff, K., de Wit, E., Fischer, B.E., van Steensel, B., Micklem, G. and Brand, A.H. (2006) Prospero acts as a binary switch between self-renewal and differentiation in Drosophila neural stem cells. Developmental Cell 11, pp 775-789.
  • Barbee, S.A., Estes, P.S., Cziko, A.-M., Hillebrand, J., Luedeman, R., Coller, J.M., Johnson, N., Howlett, I.C., Geng, C., Ueda, R., Brand, A.H., Newbury, S.F., Wilhelm, J.E., Levine, R.B., Nakamura, A., Parker, R. and Ramaswami, M. (2006) Staufen- and FMRP-containing neuronal RNPs are structurally and functionally related to somatic P bodies. Neuron 52, pp 997-1009.
  • Pym, E.C.G., Southall, T.D., Mee, C.J., Brand, A.H. and Baines, R. A. (2006) The homeobox transcription factor Even-Skipped regulates acquisition of electrical properties in Drosophila neurons. Neural Development 1, 3.
  • Murray, M.J., Davidson, C. M., Hayward, N.M. and Brand, A.H. (2006) The Fes/Fer non-receptor tyrosine kinase Dfer cooperates with Src42A to regulate dorsal closure. Development 133, pp 3063-3073.
  • Bossing, T. and Brand, A.H. (2006) Determination of cell fate along the antero-posterior axis of the Drosophila ventral midline. Development 133, pp 1001-1012.
  • Brand, A.H and Livesey, F.J. eds, (2005) Cell Differentiation. Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 17 (6), pp 637-638.
  • Dawes-Hoang, R.E., Parmar, K.M., Christiansen, A.E., Phelps, C.B., Brand, A.H. and Wieschaus, E.F. (2005) Folded gastrulation, cell shape change, and the control of myosin localization. Development 132, pp 4165-4178.
  • van Roessel, P.J., Elliott, D.A., Robinson, I.M., Prokop, A. and Brand, A.H. (2004) Independent regulation of synaptic size and activity by the anaphase-promoting complex. Cell 119, pp 707-718.
  • Carr, A., Choksi, S.P. and Brand, A.H. (2004) Turning back the clock on neural progenitors. BioEssays 26, pp 711-714.
  • van Roessel, P. and Brand, A.H. (2004) Spreading silence with Sid. Genome Biology 5, pp 208.1-208.3.
  • Barros, C.S., Phelps, C.B. and Brand, A.H. (2003) Drosophila non-muscle myosin II promotes the asymmetric segregation of cell fate determinants by cortical exclusion rather than active transport. Developmental Cell 5, pp 829-840.
  • Brand, A.H. and van Roessel, P.J. (2003) Region-specific apoptosis limits neural stem cell proliferation. Neuron 37, pp 185-187.
  • Januschke, J., Gervais, L., Dass, S., Kaltschmidt, J.A., Lopez-Schier, H., St. Johnston, D., Brand, A.H., Roth, S. and Guichet, A. (2002) Polar transport in the Drosophila oocyte requires Dynein and Kinesin I cooperation. Current Biology 12, pp 1971-1981.
  • van Roessel, P., Hayward, N.M, Barros, C.S. and Brand, A.H. (2002). Two-color GFP imaging demonstrates cell-autonomy of GAL4-driven RNA interference in Drosophila. Genesis 134, pp 170-173.
  • Bossing, T., Barros, C.S. and Brand, A.H. (2002) A rapid tissue specific expression assay in living embryos. Genesis 134, pp 123-126.
  • Bossing, T. and Brand, A.H. (2002) Dephrin, a transmembrane ephrin with a unique structure, prevents interneuronal axons from exiting the Drosophila embryonic CNS. Development 129, pp 4205-4218.
  • Kaltschmidt, J.A. and Brand, A.H. (2002) Asymmetric cell division: microtubule dynamics and spindle asymmetry. Journal of Cell Science, 115, pp 2257-2264.
  • van Roessel, P. and Brand, A.H. (2002) Imaging into the future: visualizing gene expression and protein interactions with fluorescent proteins. Nature Cell Biology, 4, E15-20.
  • Bellaiche, Y., Gho, M., Kaltschmidt, J.A, Brand, A.H. and Schweisguth, F. (2001) Frizzled regulates the localization of cell-fate determinants and mitotic spindle rotation during asymmetric cell division. Nature Cell Biology, 3, pp 50-57.
  • Kaltschmidt, J.A., Davidson, C.M., Brown, N.H. and Brand, A.H. (2000) Rotation and asymmetry of the mitotic spindle direct asymmetric cell division in the developing central nervous system. Nature Cell Biology, 2, pp 7-12.
  • van Roessel, P. and Brand, A.H. (2000) Ectopic expression using the GAL4 system. In Drosophila Protocols. Chapter 24. pp 439-447. W. Sullivan, M. Ashburner and S. Hawley, eds, Cold Spring Harbor, USA: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
  • Brand, A.H. (1999) Microtubule dynamics during cell division in the Drosophila embryo. In: GFP in Motion, Trends in Cell Biology, 9, (no. 2; CD-ROM supplement).
  • Brand, A.H. (1999) GFP as a cell and developmental marker in the Drosophila nervous system. In: Green Fluorescent Proteins. K.F. Sullivan and S. Kay, eds., San Diego, USA: Academic Press. Methods in Cell Biology, 58, 165-181.
  • Schuldt, A.J. and Brand, A.H. (1999) Mastermind acts downstream of Notch to specify neuronal cell fates in the Drosophila CNS. Developmental Biology, 205, pp 287-295.
  • Haseloff, J., Dormand, E.L. and Brand, A.H. (1999) Live imaging with green fluorescent protein. In: Confocal Microscopy Methods and Protocols, 122, pp 241-259. S. Paddock, ed., Totowa, USA.: Humana Press.
  • Murray, M.J., Merritt, D.J., Brand, A.H. and Whitington, P.M. (1998) In vivo dynamics of axon pathfinding in the Drosophila CNS: a time-lapse study of an identified motorneuron. Journal of Neurobiology, 37, 607-621.
  • Schuldt, A.J., Adams, J.H.J., Davidson, C.M., Micklem, D.R., Haseloff, J., St. Johnston, D. and Brand, A.H. (1998) Miranda mediates asymmetric protein and RNA localisation in the developing nervous system. Genes and Development, 12, pp 1847-1857.
  • Dormand, E.L. and Brand, A.H. (1998) runt determines cell fates in the Drosophila embryonic CNS. Development, 125, pp 1659-1667.
  • Phelps, C. and Brand, A.H. (1998) Ectopic gene expression in Drosophila using the GAL4 system. Methods: A Companion to Methods in Enzymology, 14, pp 367-379.
  • Hidalgo, A. and Brand, A. H. (1997) Targeted neuronal ablation: the role of pioneer neurons in guidance and fasciculation in the CNS of Drosophila. Development 124, pp 3253-3262.
  • Micklem, D.R., Dasgupta, R., Elliott, H., Gergely, F., Davidson, C., Brand, A., Gonzalez Reyes, A. and St Johnston, D. (1997) The mago nashi gene is required for the polarisation of the oocyte and the formation of perpendicular axes in Drosophila. Current Biology 7, pp 468-478.
  • Hidalgo, A., Urban, J. and Brand, A.H. (1995) Targeted ablation of the longitudinal glia disrupts axon tract formation in the Drosophila embryonic CNS. Development 121, pp 3703-3712.
  • Brand, A.H. and Dormand, E.L. (1995) The GAL4 System as a tool for unravelling the mysteries of the Drosophila nervous system. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 5, pp 572-578.
  • Brand, A.H. (1995) GFP in Drosophila. Trends in Genetics 11, pp 324-325.
  • Yoffe, K.B., Manoukian, A.S., Wilder, E.L., Brand, A.H. and Perrimon, N. (1995) Evidence for engrailed-independent wingless autoregulation in Drosophila. Developmental Biology 170, pp 636-650.
  • Brand, A.H., Manoukian, A. and Perrimon, N. (1994) Ectopic expression in Drosophila. In Drosophila melanogaster: Practical Uses in Cell Biology 44, pp 635-654. L. Goldstein and E. Fyrberg, eds., San Diego, USA: Academic Press.
  • Staehling-Hampton, K., Jackson, P.D., Clark, M.J., Brand, A.H. and Hoffmann, F.M. (1994) Specificity of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) related factors: cell fate and gene expression changes in Drosophila embryos induced by decapentaplegic but not 60A. Cell Growth and Diff. 5, pp 585-593.
  • Brand, A.H. and Perrimon, N. (1994) Raf acts downstream of the EGF receptor to determine dorso-ventral polarity during Drosophila oogenesis. Genes and Development 8, pp 629-639.
  • Brand, A.H. and Perrimon, N. (1993) Targeted gene expression as a means of altering cell fate and generating dominant phenotypes. Development 118, pp 401-415.
  • Perrimon, N., Noll, E., McCall, K. and Brand, A. (1991) Generating lineage-specific markers to study Drosophila development. Developmental Genetics 12, pp 238-252.
  • Hofmann, J.F.-X., Laroche, T., Brand, A.H. and Gasser, S.M. (1989) RAP-1 factor is necessary for DNA loop formation in vitro at the silent mating type locus, HML. Cell 57, pp 725-737.
  • Shore, D., Stillman, D., Brand, A.H. and Nasmyth, K. (1987) Identification of silencer binding proteins from yeast: Possible roles in SIR control and DNA replication. EMBO. J. 6, pp 461-467.
  • Brand, A.H., Micklem, G. and Nasmyth, K. (1987) A yeast silencer contains sequences that can promote autonomous plasmid replication and transcriptional activation. Cell 51, pp 709-719.
  • Brand, A.H., Breeden, L., Abraham, J., Sternglanz, R. and Nasmyth, K. (1985) Characterization of a silencer in yeast: A DNA Sequence with properties opposite to those of a transcriptional enhancer. Cell 41, pp 41-48.
  • Szell, T., Brand, A. and Ratanathanawongs, S. (1981) Synthesis of two new thiachalcones. J. Chemical and Engineering Data 26, p 230.

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