Matthias Soller

Colleges, School and Institutes

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

Matthias Soller’s primary research interest is how the information encoded in chromosomes instructs the building of the brain and allows an organism to perform elaborate tasks. His work focuses on post-transcriptionally controlled gene networks in neuronal development and function. Almost every gene is regulated at the post-transcriptional level in humans. Particularly important is the large number of genes that are alternatively spliced; and this type of gene regulation is most prevalently found in the brain. What are the functional consequences of this enormous increase in molecular diversity in neurons? How is alternative pre-mRNA processing co-ordinately regulated at a genomic level?

Dr Soller is using the fruit fly Drosophilawith its sophisticated genetic tools as a model to study alternative pre-mRNA processing. His favourite molecule to address how genes are co-ordinately regulated at the post-transcriptional level is the neuronal splicing regulator ELAV. The transcription factor EWG has been identified as a major target of ELAV. Through the analysis of EWG-regulated genes Dr Soller identified a prominent role of both ELAV and EWG in the regulation of structural plasticity at Drosophilasynapses.