Professor Sarah Bray

Sarah Bray

University position


Professor Sarah Bray is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Home page (personal home page)

Research Themes

Developmental Neuroscience

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


We are interested in understanding the signalling pathways that co-ordinate the decisions made by cells during development. The ultimate fate of a cell is dictated in part by its heredity and in part through interactions with neighbouring cells. One key signalling pathway that mediates cell-cell interactions involves the membrane protein Notch, which is a major focus of the work in our lab. Although first identified in Drosophila, this pathway is highly conserved throughout evolution and has important roles in many developmental decisions: disruptions to Notch function have profound effects on a wide spectrum of processes including neurogenesis. Dysfunction of the Notch pathway is also associated with many diseases, in particular some cancers and neurodegenerative disorders. Currently we are taking a combination of genetic and genomic approaches to find novel targets that are regulated by Notch in different contexts, including neural cells.

Neural stem cell lineages (green) in the Drosophila CNS. Asterisks indicate the neural stem cells, differentiating progeny are labelled to detect the homeodomain proteins Prosero (blue) and Goosebery (red)
Neural stem cell lineages (green) in the Drosophila CNS. Asterisks indicate the neural stem cells, differentiating progeny are labelled to detect the homeodomain proteins Prosero (blue) and Goosebery (red)
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus


developmental biology




Clinical conditions

Genetic disorders


Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy




molecular biology

Protein purification

Recombinant protein expression



Christos Delidakis Web:

Associated News Items

Key publications

Endo K, Karim MR, Taniguchi H, Krejci A, Kinameri E, Siebert M, Ito K, Bray SJ, Moore AW (2011), “Chromatin modification of Notch targets in olfactory receptor neuron diversification.” Nat Neurosci 15(2):224-33 Details

Krejcí A, Bernard F, Housden BE, Collins S, Bray SJ (2009), “Direct response to Notch activation: signaling crosstalk and incoherent logic.” Sci Signal 2(55):ra1 Details

Bray SJ (2006), “Notch Signalling: a simple pathway becomes complex” Nature Reviews in Molecular Cell Biology 7:678-689 Details

Almeida M, Bray SJ (2005), “Regulation of Post-embryonic Neuroblasts by Drosophila Grainyhead” Mechanisms of Development 122:1282-93 Details



Housden BE, Li J, Bray SJ (2014), “Visualizing notch signaling in vivo in Drosophila tissues.” Methods Mol Biol 1187:101-13 Details

Housden BE, Terriente-Felix A, Bray SJ (2014), “Context-dependent enhancer selection confers alternate modes of notch regulation on argos.” Mol Cell Biol 34(4):664-72 Details

Simón R, Aparicio R, Housden BE, Bray S, Busturia A (2014), “Drosophila p53 controls Notch expression and balances apoptosis and proliferation.” Apoptosis Details

Wong CC, Martincorena I, Rust AG, Rashid M, Alifrangis C, Alexandrov LB, Tiffen JC, Kober C, Chronic Myeloid Disorders Working Group of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, Green AR, Massie CE, Nangalia J, Lempidaki S, Döhner H, Döhner K, Bray SJ, McDermott U, Papaemmanuil E, Campbell PJ, Adams DJ (2014), “Inactivating CUX1 mutations promote tumorigenesis.” Nat Genet 46(1):33-8 Details

Zacharioudaki E, Bray SJ (2014), “Tools and methods for studying Notch signaling in Drosophila melanogaster.” Methods 68(1):173-82 Details


Babao?lan AB, Housden BE, Furriols M, Bray SJ (2013), “Deadpan contributes to the robustness of the notch response.” PLoS One 8(9):e75632 Details

Djiane A, Krejci A, Bernard F, Fexova S, Millen K, Bray SJ (2013), “Dissecting the mechanisms of Notch induced hyperplasia.” EMBO J 32(1):60-71 Details

Housden BE, Fu AQ, Krejci A, Bernard F, Fischer B, Tavaré S, Russell S, Bray SJ (2013), “Transcriptional dynamics elicited by a short pulse of notch activation involves feed-forward regulation by E(spl)/Hes genes.” PLoS Genet 9(1):e1003162 Details

Terriente-Felix A, Li J, Collins S, Mulligan A, Reekie I, Bernard F, Krejci A, Bray S (2013), “Notch cooperates with Lozenge/Runx to lock haemocytes into a differentiation programme.” Development 140(4):926-37 Details


Capilla A, Johnson R, Daniels M, Benavente M, Bray SJ, Galindo MI (2012), “Planar cell polarity controls directional Notch signaling in the Drosophila leg.” Development 139(14):2584-93 Details

Housden BE, Millen K, Bray SJ (2012), “Drosophila Reporter Vectors Compatible with ?C31 Integrase Transgenesis Techniques and Their Use to Generate New Notch Reporter Fly Lines.” G3 (Bethesda) 2(1):79-82 Details


Djiane A, Shimizu H, Wilkin M, Mazleyrat S, Jennings MD, Avis J, Bray S, Baron M (2011), “Su(dx) E3 ubiquitin ligase-dependent and -independent functions of polychaetoid, the Drosophila ZO-1 homologue.” J Cell Biol 192(1):189-200 Details


Bernard F, Krejci A, Housden B, Adryan B, Bray SJ (2010), “Specificity of Notch pathway activation: twist controls the transcriptional output in adult muscle progenitors.” Development 137(16):2633-42 Details

Bray S, Bernard F (2010), “Notch targets and their regulation.” Curr Top Dev Biol 92:253-75 Details

Monastirioti M, Giagtzoglou N, Koumbanakis KA, Zacharioudaki E, Deligiannaki M, Wech I, Almeida M, Preiss A, Bray S, Delidakis C (2010), “Drosophila Hey is a target of Notch in asymmetric divisions during embryonic and larval neurogenesis.” Development 137(2):191-201 Details

Pines MK, Housden BE, Bernard F, Bray SJ, Röper K (2010), “The cytolinker Pigs is a direct target and a negative regulator of Notch signalling.” Development 137(6):913-22 Details


Benítez E, Bray SJ, Rodriguez I, Guerrero I (2009), “Lines is required for normal operation of Wingless, Hedgehog and Notch pathways during wing development.” Development 136(7):1211-21 Details

Moshkin YM, Kan TW, Goodfellow H, Bezstarosti K, Maeda RK, Pilyugin M, Karch F, Bray SJ, Demmers JA, Verrijzer CP (2009), “Histone chaperones ASF1 and NAP1 differentially modulate removal of active histone marks by LID-RPD3 complexes during NOTCH silencing.” Mol Cell 35(6):782-93 Details


Bray SJ, Takada S, Harrison E, Shen SC, Ferguson-Smith AC (2008), “The atypical mammalian ligand Delta-like homologue 1 (Dlk1) can regulate Notch signalling in Drosophila.” BMC Dev Biol 8:11 Details

Narasimha M, Uv A, Krejci A, Brown NH, Bray SJ (2008), “Grainy head promotes expression of septate junction proteins and influences epithelial morphogenesis.” J Cell Sci 121(Pt 6):747-52 Details


Goodfellow H, Krejcí A, Moshkin Y, Verrijzer CP, Karch F, Bray SJ (2007), “Gene-specific targeting of the histone chaperone asf1 to mediate silencing.” Dev Cell 13(4):593-600 Details

Krejcí A, Bray S (2007), “Notch activation stimulates transient and selective binding of Su(H)/CSL to target enhancers.” Genes Dev 21(11):1322-7 Details


Glittenberg M, Pitsouli C, Garvey C, Delidakis C, Bray S (2006), “Role of conserved intracellular motifs in Serrate signalling, cis-inhibition and endocytosis.” EMBO J 25(20):4697-706 Details

Glittenberg M, Pitsouli C, Garvey C, Delidakis C, Bray SJ (2006), “Role of conserved intracellular motifs in Serrate signalling, cis-inhibition and endocytosis” EMBO J 25(20):4697-706


Bray S, Musisi H, Bienz M (2005), “Bre1 is required for Notch signaling and histone modification.” Dev Cell 8(2):279-86 Details

Hatini V, Green RB, Lengyel JA, Bray SJ, Dinardo S (2005), “The Drumstick/Lines/Bowl regulatory pathway links antagonistic Hedgehog and Wingless signaling inputs to epidermal cell differentiation.” Genes Dev 19(6):709-18 Details

Nagel AC, Krejci A, Tenin G, Bravo-Patiño A, Bray S, Maier D, Preiss A (2005), “Hairless-mediated repression of notch target genes requires the combined activity of Groucho and CtBP corepressors.” Mol Cell Biol 25(23):10433-41 Details

Pérez L, Milán M, Bray S, Cohen SM (2005), “Ligand-binding and signaling properties of the Ax[M1] form of Notch.” Mech Dev 122(4):479-86 Details


de Celis Ibeas JM, Bray SJ (2003), “Bowl is required downstream of Notch for elaboration of distal limb patterning.” Development 130(24):5943-52 Details

Hemphälä J, Uv A, Cantera R, Bray S, Samakovlis C (2003), “Grainy head controls apical membrane growth and tube elongation in response to Branchless/FGF signalling.” Development 130(2):249-58 Details


Bagni C, Bray S, Gogos JA, Kafatos FC, Hsu T (2002), “The Drosophila zinc finger transcription factor CF2 is a myogenic marker downstream of MEF2 during muscle development.” Mech Dev 117(1-2):265-8 Details

Strutt D, Johnson R, Cooper K, Bray S (2002), “Asymmetric localization of frizzled and the determination of notch-dependent cell fate in the Drosophila eye.” Curr Biol 12(10):813-24 Details


Bray S, Furriols M (2001), “Notch pathway: making sense of suppressor of hairless.” Curr Biol 11(6):R217-21 Details

Furriols M, Bray S (2001), “A model Notch response element detects Suppressor of Hairless-dependent molecular switch.” Curr Biol 11(1):60-4 Details


Bray S (2000), “Notch.” Curr Biol 10(12):R433-5 Details

Bray S (2000), “Specificity and promiscuity among proneural proteins.” Neuron 25(1):1-2 Details

Bray S (2000), “Planar polarity: out of joint?” Curr Biol 10(4):R155-8 Details

Bray S, Stein D (2000), “Developmental biology. Post-expressionist flies.” Nature 407(6802):314-5 Details

Cooper MT, Bray SJ (2000), “R7 photoreceptor specification requires Notch activity.” Curr Biol 10(23):1507-10 Details

Cooper MT, Tyler DM, Furriols M, Chalkiadaki A, Delidakis C, Bray S (2000), “Spatially restricted factors cooperate with notch in the regulation of Enhancer of split genes.” Dev Biol 221(2):390-403 Details

de Celis JF, Bray SJ (2000), “The Abruptex domain of Notch regulates negative interactions between Notch, its ligands and Fringe.” Development 127(6):1291-302 Details

Furriols M, Bray S (2000), “Dissecting the mechanisms of suppressor of hairless function.” Dev Biol 227(2):520-32 Details

Howes R, Bray S (2000), “Pattern formation: Wingless on the move.” Curr Biol 10(6):R222-6 Details


Bray S (1999), “Drosophila development: Scalloped and Vestigial take wing.” Curr Biol 9(7):R245-7 Details

Cooper MT, Bray SJ (1999), “Frizzled regulation of Notch signalling polarizes cell fate in the Drosophila eye.” Nature 397(6719):526-30 Details

Jennings BH, Tyler DM, Bray SJ (1999), “Target specificities of Drosophila enhancer of split basic helix-loop-helix proteins.” Mol Cell Biol 19(7):4600-10 Details

Ligoxygakis P, Bray SJ, Apidianakis Y, Delidakis C (1999), “Ectopic expression of individual E(spl) genes has differential effects on different cell fate decisions and underscores the biphasic requirement for notch activity in wing margin establishment in Drosophila.” Development 126(10):2205-14 Details

Wech I, Bray S, Delidakis C, Preiss A (1999), “Distinct expression patterns of different enhancer of split bHLH genes during embryogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster.” Dev Genes Evol 209(6):370-5 Details


Bray S (1998), “Notch signalling in Drosophila: three ways to use a pathway.” Semin Cell Dev Biol 9(6):591-7 Details

Bray S (1998), “A Notch affair.” Cell 93(4):499-503 Details

de Celis JF, Tyler DM, de Celis J, Bray SJ (1998), “Notch signalling mediates segmentation of the Drosophila leg.” Development 125(23):4617-26 Details

Prokop A, Bray S, Harrison E, Technau GM (1998), “Homeotic regulation of segment-specific differences in neuroblast numbers and proliferation in the Drosophila central nervous system.” Mech Dev 74(1-2):99-110 Details


Bray SJ (1997), “Expression and function of Enhancer of split bHLH proteins during Drosophila neurogenesis.” Perspect Dev Neurobiol 4(4):313-23 Details

de Celis JF, Bray S (1997), “Feed-back mechanisms affecting Notch activation at the dorsoventral boundary in the Drosophila wing.” Development 124(17):3241-51 Details

de Celis JF, Bray S, Garcia-Bellido A (1997), “Notch signalling regulates veinlet expression and establishes boundaries between veins and interveins in the Drosophila wing.” Development 124(10):1919-28 Details

Eastman DS, Slee R, Skoufos E, Bangalore L, Bray S, Delidakis C (1997), “Synergy between suppressor of Hairless and Notch in regulation of Enhancer of split m gamma and m delta expression.” Mol Cell Biol 17(9):5620-8 Details

Uv AE, Harrison EJ, Bray SJ (1997), “Tissue-specific splicing and functions of the Drosophila transcription factor Grainyhead.” Mol Cell Biol 17(11):6727-35 Details


de Celis JF, de Celis J, Ligoxygakis P, Preiss A, Delidakis C, Bray S (1996), “Functional relationships between Notch, Su(H) and the bHLH genes of the E(spl) complex: the E(spl) genes mediate only a subset of Notch activities during imaginal development.” Development 122(9):2719-28 Details

de Celis JF, Garcia-Bellido A, Bray SJ (1996), “Activation and function of Notch at the dorsal-ventral boundary of the wing imaginal disc.” Development 122(1):359-69 Details

Ebling FJ, Maywood ES, Mehta M, Hancock DC, McNulty S, De Bono J, Bray SJ, Hastings MH (1996), “FosB in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the Syrian and Siberian hamster.” Brain Res Bull 41(5):257-68 Details


Tannahill D, Bray S, Harris WA (1995), “A Drosophila E(sp?) gene is "neurogenic" in Xenopus: a green fluorescent protein study.” Dev Biol 168(2):694-7 Details


Jennings B, Preiss A, Delidakis C, Bray S (1994), “The Notch signalling pathway is required for Enhancer of split bHLH protein expression during neurogenesis in the Drosophila embryo.” Development 120(12):3537-48 Details

Uv AE, Thompson CR, Bray SJ (1994), “The Drosophila tissue-specific factor Grainyhead contains novel DNA-binding and dimerization domains which are conserved in the human protein CP2.” Mol Cell Biol 14(6):4020-31 Details


Bray SJ, Kafatos FC (1991), “Developmental function of Elf-1: an essential transcription factor during embryogenesis in Drosophila.” Genes Dev 5(9):1672-83 Details


Bray SJ, Burke B, Brown NH, Hirsh J (1989), “Embryonic expression pattern of a family of Drosophila proteins that interact with a central nervous system regulatory element.” Genes Dev 3(8):1130-45 Details

Johnson WA, McCormick CA, Bray SJ, Hirsh J (1989), “A neuron-specific enhancer of the Drosophila dopa decarboxylase gene.” Genes Dev 3(5):676-86 Details


Bray SJ, Johnson WA, Hirsh J, Heberlein U, Tjian R (1988), “A cis-acting element and associated binding factor required for CNS expression of the Drosophila melanogaster dopa decarboxylase gene.” EMBO J 7(1):177-88 Details


Scholnick SB, Bray SJ, Morgan BA, McCormick CA, Hirsh J (1986), “CNS and hypoderm regulatory elements of the Drosophila melanogaster dopa decarboxylase gene.” Science 234(4779):998-1002 Details