Alice Wicks

I did my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London. It was an enjoyable three years that gave me a solid background in life sciences.

In my third year, I carried out my final year project at Professor Takashi Toda’s laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute. I investigated the molecular basis of polarised growth in fission yeast, which is an excellent model organism to study morphogenesis due to its simple structure and growth pattern. While I was writing up my project report, I genuinely became curious about the cellular and developmental processes regulated by the cytoskeleton.

I decided to join Charras lab for a MRes (Master of Research) because it matches my research interests and I liked the friendly atmosphere during my informal lab visit. My project is about validating the molecular interactors of actin nucleators involved in blebs and mitosis. Blebs are poorly studied bulges of the plasma membrane that retract when actin filaments polymerise. Interestingly, some cancer cells like Walker cancer cells form blebs during migration. In addition, cancer and cell division are closely related. Therefore, my project may contribute to the understanding of cancer cell biology.