School of Biological Sciences

Staff

Dr Frank Schubert

  • Qualifications: Dipl.-Biol., Dr. rer. nat.
  • Role Title: Principal Lecturer
  • Address: King Henry Building, King Henry I Street, Portsmouth, PO1 2DY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2022
  • Email: Frank.Schubert@port.ac.uk
  • Department: School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science

Biography

Inspired by the fascinating insight that biological research gives into the living world, I studied Biology in Germany at the Universities of Kiel and Heidelberg, graduating in 1989. I spent one year at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, studying gene transfer methods with Dr Erwin Wagner (1988-1989), before starting my postgraduate studies at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (1989-1994). During my PhD project in the group of Prof Peter Gruss I investigated the evolution of the Hox cluster in vertebrates and insects. My isolation and characterisation of a novel vertebrate homeobox gene expressed in the embryonic brain set the focus for my career – investigating the molecular mechanisms of brain development.

Having obtained the doctorate from the University of Heidelberg, I joined the laboratory of Prof Andrew Lumsden at King's College London as an EMBO research fellow (1994-2003). My postdoctoral studies resulted in the isolation and characterisation of a number of developmental control genes, two successful PhD projects (Susan Chapman and Robin Gogoi), a collaboration with lab of Antonio Simeone, and a highly productive partnership with Susanne Dietrich whose work on paraxial mesoderm patterning is now a textbook-cited classic.

Appointed to a faculty position at the University of Portsmouth in 2003, I am leading a lab working on vertebrate brain development. We focus on two main topics: neurone formation in the early brain, and brain vascularisation. During term the lab is buzzing with undergraduate project students joining the regular research team, while in the summer we often host 6th form students. A number of my former undergraduate students went on to careers in research, while several of the 6th form students have successfully applied for Oxbridge. 

For more information about my current research please visit my lab page or follow me on Twitter

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Course Leader for BSc Biology
  • Year 3 leader for departmental undergraduate courses
  • Unit Co-ordinator for Biodiversity & Evolution (L4)
  • Unit Co-ordinator for Honours Project (L6)
  • Unit Co-ordinator for Research Toolkit (L7)
  • Also teaching on Level 5 units Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Development: How Form and Function changes, and Level 6 units Genes & Development, Genomics in Molecular Medicine and Gene Organisation & Expression

Research Interests

  • Gene regulatory networks controlling neurogenesis and cell fate in the early brain
  • Axon guidance of early axon tracts in the embryonic brain
  • Vascularisation of the embryonic brain
  • Novel vector systems for gene expression in chick embryos

Publications

View all publications on Parade…

Funding

  • Anatomical and molecular characterisation of vascular ingression in the embryonic vertebrate brain (Anatomical Society research studentship, 2013-2016, £65k)
  • Genetics of Brain Development (EU Interreg IV project TC2N, 2007-2014, €7.5M)
  • Transcriptional control mechanisms in the fate determination of neurons (EU Interreg IV project AdMiN, 2008-2010)
  • Comparative analysis of the initial nerve connections in the embryonic vertebrate brain (Anatomical Society research studentship, 2007-2010, £58k)
  • Molecular pathways controlling neuronal specification in the embryonic vertebrate brain (BBSRC, 2005-2008, £243k)
  • Wiring the vertebrate brain: axon guidance cues in the formation of the early axon scaffold (Royal Society, 2004-2005, £15k)

Presentations

  • Starting brain connections - Neurones, axons and molecules in the embryonic vertebrate neural tube (Presentation at Université de Rennes I, September 2013)
  • Building the brain - Neurones, axons and molecules in the embryonic vertebrate neural tube (Presentation at Université de Rouen, March 2012)
  • Molecular mechanisms controlling early brain development (Poster at LARC Neuroscience meeting, Rennes, October 2011)
  • Molecular mechanisms in the formation of the early axon scaffold (Presentation at Anatomical Society meeting, Portsmouth, July 2010)

Collaborations

  • Dr Susanne Dietrich (Portsmouth), Dr. Lúcia Alvares (Universidade Estadual de Campinas) – Dact genes in embryonic development
  • Dr Hélène Castel (Université de Rouen) – Urotensin II signalling during neurovascular development
  • Prof Matt Guille (Portsmouth), Dr Colin Sharpe (Portsmouth) – Signalling pathways during neuro-vascular interaction

Postgraduate Research Supervised

Current students

  • Amanda Corla, Anatomical and molecular characterisation of vascular ingression in the embryonic vertebrate brain (PhD, 2013-2016)
  • Holly Keats, Transcriptional regulation of the Nkx1.1 gene during embryogenesis (PhD, 2009-2014)
  • Anaïs Lainé, Molecular control of neurogenesis in the early chick brain (MSc Biology, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 2013-2014)

Previous students

  • Nicolas Voisin, The cell-cell signalling controlling brain vasculature (MSc Biomedical Sciences - Neuroscience, Université de Rouen, 2013)
  • James-forbes Birnie, Developmental study of the choroid plexus using avian (chick) and teleost (stickleback) models (MSc Applied Aquatic Biology, Portsmouth 2012)
  • Georgina Pendell, Characterisation of odorant receptors in the lesser spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) (MSc Applied Aquatic Biology, Portsmouth, 2012)
  • Ismael Daher, Neuro-vascular interactions during early embryonic brain development (MSc Biomedical Sciences - Neuroscience, Université de Rouen, 2012)
  • Federica Berti, Expression of vascular markers during early chick embryogenesis (MSc Biological Sciences, Universitá degli studi dell Tuscia di Viterbo, 2011-2012)
  • Michelle Ware, Analysis of the initial nerve connections in the embryonic vertebrate brain (PhD, 2007-2010)
  • Kerry-lyn Riley, Axon guidance cues for the medial longitudinal fascicle in the embryonic chick brain (PhD, 2004-2008)

Achievement and Recognition

Memberships