Dr David Tannahill

David Tannahill

University position

Faculty, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Dr David Tannahill is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute



Home page

http://www.sanger.ac.uk/Teams/T... (personal home page)

Research Themes

Developmental Neuroscience

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


I have worked on a range of model systems from Xenopus and zebrafish to chicks and mice. My current research is focused on building an atlas that describes where and when large numbers of genes are expressed in the developing mouse embryo. For this, we use automated in situ hybridisation and 2D/3D imaging techniques. As well as analysing genes of high developmental value, we also study the expression of candidate mental retardation genes during brain development (see www.embryexpress.org to access our data). I am also part of the Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Programme in which we are generating and pehnotyping up to 500 mouse knockouts per year. Another key area of research is the molecular and genetic mechnanisms that impart segmentation to the peripheral nervous system and vertebral column. Here, we are exploring the molecular differences between different somite parts in order to understand how the molecular landscape of the embryo directs the guidance of growing spinal axons.

Mis-routing of Xenopus trigeminal axons (green) after treatment with an anitsense semaphorin oligonucleotide (red).
Mis-routing of Xenopus trigeminal axons (green) after treatment with an anitsense semaphorin oligonucleotide (red).
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus


developmental biology



axon guidance

pattern formation

Clinical conditions

Birth defects

Brain repair

Mental retardation


Cell culture

Experimental embryology


In situ hybridisation



Protein purification

Recombinant protein expression



Bertie Gottgens

Roger Keynes

United Kingdom

Richard Baldock Web: http://genex.hgu.mrc.ac.uk/

Duncan Davidson Web: http://genex.hgu.mrc.ac.uk/


Andrea Ballabio Web: http://www.eurexpress.org/ee/

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Fleming AL, Keynes RJ, Tannahill D (2004), “A Central Role for the Notochord in Vertebral Patterning” Development 131:873-880

    Anderson CNG, Ohta K, Quick MM, Fleming AL, Keynes RJ, Tannahill D (2003), “Molecular Analysis of Axon Repulsion by the Notochord” Development 130:1123-1133

    Britto JM, Tannahill D, Keynes RJ (2002), “A Critical Role for Sonic Hedgehog Signalling in the Vesicular Expansion of the Developing Avian Brain” Nature Neuroscience 5:103-110