UCL Division of Biosciences


Dr Bill Andrews

Anatomy Building Molecular Biology Unit
I am primarily the Manager of the Molecular Biology Facility based on the 2nd floor of the Anatomy Building. This facility provides equipment and services to groups in the Division of Biosciences. We provide a range of access options - from using the equipment yourself to facility staff undertaking experiments on your behalf.

Bill Andrews, Manager w.andrews@ucl.ac.uk

Tel. 020 7679 3368 Internal: x33368

Research Summary

As well as Managing the Molecular Biology Facility, I am interested in understanding the mechanisms involved in neuronal migration in the brain and to shed light in the aetiologies of some of the migration disorders in humans. While most of our efforts focus on interneuron migration in the cortex, we are also exploring the molecular mechanisms that guide the migration of Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons from their origin in the olfactory placode to the hypothalamus. Our research has identified several groups of chemorepulsive molecules and their receptors particularly the Slit-Robo and Semaphorin-neuropilin/Plexin, in playing major roles in these processes.  Finally, we are also exploring the role(s) of these molecules in the development of the innervations of the heart.

Sai-Giridhar P, Al-Ramadhani S, George D, Gopinath P, Andrews W, Jader S, Brown S, Findlay A, Arkoumani E, Al-Sam S, McKenzie JG, Bradpiece H, Jenkins S, Aylwin A, Holt S, Sharaiha Y, Yiangou C, Agrawal A, McDowell A, Gabriel FG, Jeffrey M, Agrawal N, Cree IA, Mansel RE, Keshtgar M, McDermott N, El Sheikh S, Wellsted D, Collard J, Chaplin H, Landt O, Bustin S, Sundaresan M, Sundaresan V. A multicentre validation of Metasin: a molecular assay for the intraoperative assessment of sentinel lymph nodes from breast cancer patients. Histopathology. 2016 May;68(6):875-87. doi: 10.1111/his.12863.

Andrews WD, Davidson K, Tamamaki N, Ruhrberg C, Parnavelas JG. Alteredproliferative ability of neuronal progenitors in PlexinA1 mutant mice. J Comp Neurol. 2016 Feb 15;524(3):518-34. doi: 10.1002/cne.23806.

Mommersteeg MT, Yeh ML, Parnavelas JG, Andrews WD. Disrupted Slit-Robo signalling results in membranous ventricular septum defects and bicuspid aortic valves. Cardiovasc Res. 2015 Apr 1;106(1):55-66. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvv040.

Alpár A, Tortoriello G, Calvigioni D, Niphakis MJ, Milenkovic I, Bakker J, Cameron GA,Hanics J, Morris CV, Fuzik J, Kovacs GG, Cravatt BF, Parnavelas JG, Andrews WD, Hurd YL, Keimpema E, Harkany T. Endocannabinoids modulate cortical development by configuring Slit2/Robo1 signalling. Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 17;5:4421. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5421.

Yeh ML, Gonda Y, Mommersteeg MT, Barber M, Ypsilanti AR, Hanashima C, Parnavelas JG, Andrews WD.  Robo1 modulates proliferation and neurogenesis in the developing neocortex. J Neurosci. 2014 Apr 16;34(16):5717-31. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4256-13.2014.

Andrews WD, Zito A, Memi F, Jones G, Tamamaki N, Parnavelas JG. Limk2 mediates semaphorin signalling in cortical interneurons migrating through the subpallium.Biol Open. 2013 Mar 15;2(3):277-82. doi: 10.1242/bio.20133202.

Mommersteeg MT, Andrews WD, Ypsilanti AR, Zelina P, Yeh ML, Norden J, Kispert A, Chédotal A, Christoffels VM, Parnavelas JG. Slit-roundabout signaling regulates the development of the cardiac systemic venous return and pericardium.nCirc Res. 2013 Feb 1;112(3):465-75. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.277426.

Andrews WD, Parnavelas JG. Noradrenergic receptor activation alters the migration and distribution of interneurons in the developing neocortex (commentary on Riccio et al.). Eur J Neurosci. 2012 Oct;36(7):2877-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08274.x.

Cariboni A, Andrews WD, Memi F, Ypsilanti AR, Zelina P, Chedotal A, Parnavelas JG. Slit2 and Robo3 modulate the migration of GnRH-secreting neurons. Development. 2012 Sep;139(18):3326-31. doi: 10.1242/dev.079418.

Sung PJ, Boulos N, Tilby MJ, Andrews WD, Newbold RF, Tweddle DA, Lunec J. Identification and characterisation of STMN4 and ROBO2 gene involvement in neuroblastoma cell differentiation. Cancer Lett. 2013 Jan 1;328(1):168-75. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2012.08.015

Gonda Y, Andrews WD, Tabata H, Namba T, Parnavelas JG, Nakajima K, Kohsaka S, Hanashima C, Uchino S. Robo1 regulates the migration and laminar distribution of upper-layer pyramidal neurons of the cerebral cortex. Cereb Cortex. 2013 Jun;23(6):1495-508. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs141.

Geutskens SB, Andrews WD, van Stalborch AM, Brussen K, Holtrop-de Haan SE, Parnavelas JG, Hordijk PL, van Hennik PB. Control of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell migration by the extracellular matrix protein Slit3. Lab Invest. 2012 Aug;92(8):1129-39. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2012.81.

Antypa M, Faux C, Eichele G, Parnavelas JG, Andrews WD. Differential gene expression in migratory streams of cortical interneurons. Eur J Neurosci. 2011 Nov;34(10):1584-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07896.x.

Hernández-Miranda LR, Cariboni A, Faux C, Ruhrberg C, Cho JH, Cloutier JF, Eickholt BJ, Parnavelas JG, Andrews WD. Robo1 regulates semaphorin signaling to guide the migration of cortical interneurons through the ventral forebrain. J Neurosci. 2011 Apr 20;31(16):6174-87. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5464-10.2011.