Sam Crossman


I grew up in the New Forest on the south coast of England and completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sussex in 2013. During my time in Sussex, I was lucky enough to complete a Biochemical Society funded summer studentship in the lab of Dr. Sarah Newbury at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. It was during this time that my interest inĀ developmental biology first developed.

My current work as a PhD student in the Vincent lab aims to uncover some of the mechanisms employed by Drosophila to rid its tissues of potentially harmful cells. One way of doing this is through apoptosis, a controlled form of cell death. Whilst a number of harmful stimuli are known to be capable of triggering apoptosis, I am particularly interested in the death that occurs upon the removal of essential embryonic patterning genes. It has been previously hypothesised that these cells die because they lack the required patterning information to contribute productively towards a developing organism and attempting to understand this process forms the basis of my research.

ftz dcp1

Cleaved caspase staining (green) of a embryo mutant for the pair rule gene fushi tarazu (ftz) to visualise dying cells. The segment marker, engrailed, is shown in red.

In a separate project, I have engineered an artificial signalling pathway based on GFP binding single chain antibodies known as nanobodies. We hope to use this synthetic approach to answer fundamental questions about signalling molecules in the extracellular space.

Outside of the lab my time is spent keeping active (I enjoy football and running) and supporting Southampton FC.


In action for the lab football team, Sex Lethal FC.