Canonical Polarity
How do polarity proteins interact in time and space?
Polarity of the midgut
How are cells integrated and organise polarity in the gut?
Super-resolution imaging
How to image at the nanoscale in thick samples like tissues?
Polarised Secretion
How is exocytic trafficking controlled in epithelial cells?
Microtubule organisation
How are microtubules organised by non-centrosomal organising centres (ncMTOCs)?
Axis formation
How is symmetry broken in early development?

How do cells know ‘up’ from ‘down’?

Most cells in the body perform different functions at opposite sides of the cell. This cell polarity is essential in development, for example: in determining the head-to-tail axis of many animals, for cell migration and for asymmetric stem-cell divisions. Furthermore, loss of polarity is a hallmark of tumour cells and is thought to contribute to tissue invasion and metastasis.

Our work focuses on epithelia, the sheets of polarised cells that form barriers between compartments and make up most of our organs and tissues. We study the factors that mark different sides of epithelial cells and how these organise the internal cell architecture, using Drosophila and intestinal organoids as models.

Meet Daniel St Johnston

In 2016, the Gurdon Institute commissioned a series of presentations for its 25th anniversary.

latest publication
Our latest publication

Symmetry breaking in the female germline cyst.


Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute
Henry Wellcome Building of Cancer and Developmental Biology
Tennis Court Road

Tel: +44 (0)1223 334088

How to find us