James Cleland

James Cleland

PhD Student

james.cleland@mpibpc.mpg.de

I’m a fifth and (hopefully) final year PhD student in the Rink lab hailing from sunny Brisbane, Australia. I did my undergraduate training at the University of Queensland, Berkeley and UCSF, where I learned loads and acquired very little publication-quality data in various labs working on heart development and neural stem cell biology. Next, I joined the Rink lab at MPI-CBG in Dresden, Germany, initially as an intern trying to figure out what to do next and then, very much in love with the worms, as a PhD student. In the lab I am trying to figure out i) how narrow pieces of Schmidtea manage to correctly establish regeneration polarity (i.e. make a head at the front of the piece and tail at the back) and ii) how things go wrong in pieces from relatively close relative Girardia tigrina that very often makes mistakes (i.e. make a second head instead of a tail). When I’m not in lab, I enjoy searching for planaria and other weird animals in exotic places, being an insufferable food/coffee snob, teaching, and trying to convince the public that basic science is awesome and definitely worth funding (an easy task in Germany, but in other places not so much…).

 

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