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Prof Steve Bolsover
Cell and Developmental Biology, UCL
Gower Street
Prof Steve Bolsover profile picture
  • Emeritus Professor of Cell Physiology
  • Cell & Developmental Biology
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Research Themes
Research Summary
My research work has studied many aspects of intracellular signalling, concentrating on calcium and on neurones. My work falls into three main areas:

1. Defining the spatial organization of calcium signals in cells. I was responsible for putting together one of the first calcium imaging systems in Britain. We used this, for example, to show for the first time that calcium spatial gradients develop in fatigued skeletal muscle cells. In two Nature papers I described how electrical stimulation elicits hotspots of calcium in developing nerve cells and how the nuclear envelope filters calcium signals.

2. Investigating how calcium and other messenger systems regulate nerve cell development. I began by measuring calcium at the tip of growing axons as they developed in vitro, allowing correlation of developmental behaviour with calcium concentration. I then performed similar measurements on nerve cells in situ within whole developing zebrafish embryos. This work became a project independent of me headed by my former postdoc, Rachel Ashworth, who now holds a BBSRC David Phillips fellowship. Most recently I am investigating the role of ErbB1 signalling in axon outgrowth, and in particular whether blocking ErbB1 signalling can improve the outcome following spinal cord injury.

3. Examining the processes downstream of calcium signals and in particular their spatial organization. I have published on most of the well known targets of calcium including protein kinase C, NFAT and calmodulin. A particular interest is how a spatially inhomogeneous distribution of a target protein interacts with a spatially inhomogeneous calcium signal to allow activation of specific processes within the cell.
Teaching Summary
I have had a long career in teaching at UCL. I am lead author on the Cell Biology textbook Cell Biology, A Short Course (Wiley). The third edition, which benefits from many micrographs and examples from colleagues at UCL, will be published in April 2011.
Academic Background
1980   Master of Arts University of Cambridge
1979   Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
1976   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Cambridge
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