CDB Seminars
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Wellcome PhD Students: Final Year Talks

Thursday 25 September


Room 249, 2nd Floor, Medical Sciences Building, Gower Street

12.30pm:  Scott Curran

12.55pm:  Kristina Tubby

1.20pm:  Miguel Tillo

1.45pm:  Alex Sinclair-Wilson

2.10pm:  Elena Scarpa


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Dr Jeremy Cook

Dr Jeremy Cook

Jeremy Cook is a Senior Lecturer, and also Degree Programme Tutor for the BSc in Neuroscience. He read Physiological Sciences at Oxford, and obtained his DPhil at the University Laboratory of Physiology there for studies of axon guidance in the visual system. After a brief interlude as a clinical student, he began his research and teaching career in the Department of Human Anatomy at Oxford and came to UCL in 1983, initially to continue investigating the role of activity-based synaptic mechanisms in setting up topographic brain maps. During the 1990s he became interested in the close relationship between neuronal diversity in the vertebrate retina and the regular ‘mosaic’ patterning of retinal neurons, a topic to which he made several authoritative and well-cited contributions and in which he continues to play an active part as a journal reviewer. His current main research interest, however, is the complex relationship between the interkinetic nuclear movements of retinal neuronal precursors and the migrations of postmitotic neurons to their sites of terminal differentiation.

Office: 020 7679 6576 (Int: 46576)
Lab : 020 7679 6997 (Int: 46997) j.cook@ucl.ac.uk
Research Lab Pages

The retina contains many discrete neuronal types that show characteristic patterns of lamination and regular, cell-type-specific tessellations in the retinal plane. The embryonic emergence of these patterns requires an elaborate system of self-recognition and selective growth inhibition among the neurons that intermingle in each layer. Recent technical advances have rekindled interest in this field, and a long-term aim is to visualize and manipulate these interactions in the living retina in vitro.

Currently, however, my research is focused on the earlier embryonic stages at which neuronal precursors divide, undergo regular short-range migrations linked to the cell cycle (interkinetic movements), make decisions about cell-cycle exit, migrate away from the ventricular zone where they are born, and differentiate in appropriate laminar patterns. Although these early events occur throughout the central nervous system, the retina provides an accessible, well understood and very practical experimental model. David Becker and I hold a BBSRC Project Grant using this model to investigate the question “Do multipotential neuronal stem cells use connexin-based channels to coordinate their proliferation and differentiation?”, and more about that project can be found here.

I am also the author of an CD-based learning resource for students and teachers of medical embryology, 'The Embryonic Disk', which is used in the majority of UK medical schools and by students world-wide. This work, begun in 1995, has been a major undertaking: together with my administration of the BSc in Neuroscience, it has seriously limited my research output in the past decade. Nevertheless, sharing a lab with Dr David Becker through this period has allowed me to make active intellectual contributions to several other lines of research. Most recently, we have co-authored published studies on the proliferation and differentiation of regenerating skeletal muscle, and on wound healing in normal and diabetic skin. We have also submitted a study of the role of connexins in ‘bystander’ responses after CNS injury.

My current research is supported by the BBSRC

1972 BA (Physiological Sciences, Class I), University of Oxford
1978 DPhil (Neural Specificity), University of Oxford
1979 BMBCh, University of Oxford
1979 Demonstrator, Department of Human Anatomy, University of Oxford
1980 Tutor in Medicine, Jesus College, Oxford
1983 Lecturer, Department of Anatomy & Developmental Biology, UCL
1997 Senior Lecturer, Department of Anatomy & Developmental Biology, UCL

Recent publications

  • Becker, D.L., Webb, K.F., Thrasivoulou, C., Lin, C.-C., Nadershahi, R., Tsakiri, N. and Cook, J.E. (2007) Multiphoton imaging of chick retinal development in relation to gap junctional communication. J. Physiol., published online Oct 25, 2007; DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2007.138776
  • Wang, C.M., Lincoln, J., Cook, J.E. and Becker D.L. (2007) Abnormal connexin expression underlies delayed wound healing in diabetic skin. Diabetes 56, 2809-2817.
  • Görbe, A., Krenács, T., Cook, J.E. and Becker, D.L. (2007) Myoblast proliferation and syncytial fusion both depend on connexin43 function in transfected skeletal muscle primary cultures. Exp. Cell Res. 313, 1135-1148.

Selected publications (1991—2003)

  • Cook, J.E. (2003) Spatial regularity among retinal neurons. Chapter 29 in ‘The Visual Neurosciences’ (eds LM Chalupa & JS Werner), MIT Press
  • Cook, J.E. & Chalupa, L.M. (2000) Retinal mosaics: new insights into an old concept. Trends in Neurosciences, 23: 26-34
  • Shamim, K.M., Tóth, P., Becker, D.L. & Cook, J.E. (1999) Large retinal ganglion cells that form independent, regular mosaics in the bufonoid frogs Bufo marinus and Litoria moorei. Visual Neuroscience, 16: 861-879
  • Shamim, K.M., Scalia, F., Tóth, P. & Cook, J.E. (1997) Large retinal ganglion cells that form independent, regular mosaics in the ranid frogs Rana esculenta and Rana pipiens. Visual Neuroscience, 14: 1109-1127
  • Shamim, K.M., Tóth, P. & Cook, J.E. (1997) Large retinal ganglion cells in the pipid frog Xenopus laevis form independent, regular mosaics resembling those of teleost fishes. Visual Neuroscience, 14: 811-826
  • Cook, J.E. (1996) Spatial properties of retinal mosaics: an empirical evaluation of some existing measures. Visual Neuroscience, 13: 15-30
  • Cook, J.E. & Sharma, S.C. (1995) Large retinal ganglion cells in the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus): three types with distinct dendritic stratification patterns form similar but independent mosaics. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 362: 331-349
  • Cook, J.E., Becker, D.L. & Kapila, R. (1992) Independent mosaics of large inner- and outer-stratified ganglion cells in the goldfish retina. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 318: 355-366
  • Cook, J.E. & Becker, D.L. (1991) Regular mosaics of large displaced and non-displaced ganglion cells in the retina of a cichlid fish. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 306: 668-684

Page last modified on 03 jun 10 15:36 by Glenda Young