Department of Biology & Biochemistry

Professor Emeritus

4 South 0.56


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 385015 


Prof Cheryll Tickle


Current Research

One of the biggest challenges in biology is to understand how a single cell, the fertilised egg, gives rise to a new individual during embryonic development. The cell must divide many times to produce all the cells that make up the body; cells in different parts of the embryo must become different so that the parts of the body form in the proper positions and precise arrangements of specialized cells and tissues are laid down; and the growing embryo and its parts must be moulded into shape.

The development of the vertebrate limb provides a good system in which to explore these processes. I have a long standing interest in finding out the mechanisms that ensure that the parts of the limb arise in their proper places. For example, how is it that a thumb develops at one edge of our hand and a little finger at the other and what ensures that the fingers form at the tip of the limb and the shoulder at the base? Our research has contributed to identifying the genetic basis of limb development. This has provided links with clinical genetics and new clues about the origin of vertebrate limbs and evolution of morphological diversity.

The aim of one of my current projects is to make a publically available web-site to archive records of my key experiments on vertebrate limb development which revealed some fundamental concepts. I also plan to deposit other unpublished experimental data. This resource will not only provide an historical perspective on how developmental biology has evolved as a subject but also be useful to researchers in the field. It might also provide a useful source of data for teaching purposes. My other current project is studying the basis of pelvic reduction in natural populations of sticklebacks.


Tickle, C. and Urrutia, A. O., 2017. Perspectives on the history of evo-devo and the contemporary research landscape in the genomics era. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372 (1713), 20150473.

Anderson, C., Khan, M. A. F., Wong, F., Solovieva, T., Oliveira, N. M. M., Baldock, R. A., Tickle, C., Burt, D. W. and Stern, C. D., 2016. A strategy to discover new organizers identifies a putative heart organizer. Nature Communications, 7, 12656.

Tickle, C., 2015. How the embryo makes a limb:determination, polarity and identity. Journal Of Anatomy, 227 (4), pp. 418-430.

Lee, J. M., Cho, K. W., Kim, E. J., Tang, Q., Kim, K. S., Tickle, C. and Jung, H. S., 2015. A contrasting function for miR-137 in embryonic mammogenesis and adult breast carcinogenesis. Oncotarget, 6 (26), pp. 22048-22059.

Suda, N., Itoh, T., Nakato, R., Shirakawa, D., Bando, M., Katou, Y., Kataoka, K., Shirahige, K., Tickle, C. and Tanaka, M., 2014. Dimeric combinations of MafB, cFos and cJun control the apoptosis-survival balance in limb morphogenesis. Development, 141, pp. 2885-2894.

Chinnaiya, K., Tickle, C. and Towers, M., 2014. Sonic hedgehog-expressing cells in the developing limb measure time by an intrinsic cell cycle clock. Nature Communications, 5, 4320.

Wong, F., Welten, M. C.M., Anderson, C., Bain, A. A., Liu, J., Wicks, M. N., Pavlovska, G., Davey, M. G., Murphy, P., Davidson, D., Tickle, C. A., Stern, C. D., Baldock, R. A. and Burt, D. W., 2013. eChickAtlas:an introduction to the database. Genesis, 51 (5), pp. 365-371.

Tickle, C. and Barker, H., 2013. The Sonic hedgehog gradient in the developing limb. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology, 2 (2), pp. 275-290.

Cho, K. W., Kwon, H. J., Shin, J. O., Lee, J. M., Cho, S. W., Tickle, C. and Jung, H. S., 2012. Retinoic acid signaling and the initiation of mammary gland development. Developmental Biology, 365 (1), pp. 259-266.

Towers, M., Wolpert, L. and Tickle, C., 2012. Gradients of signalling in the developing limb. Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 24 (2), pp. 181-187.

Bangs, F., Antonio, N., Thongnuek, P., Welten, M., Davey, M. G., Briscoe, J. and Tickle, C., 2011. Generation of mice with functional inactivation of talpid3, a gene first identified in chicken. Development, 138 (15), pp. 3261-3272.

Towers, M., Signolet, J., Sherman, A., Sang, H. and Tickle, C., 2011. Insights into bird wing evolution and digit specification from polarizing region fate maps. Nature Communications, 2, 426.

Welten, M., Pavlovska, G., Chen, Y., Teruoka, Y., Fisher, M., Bangs, F., Towers, M. and Tickle, C., 2011. 3D expression patterns of cell cycle genes in the developing chick wing and comparison with expression patterns of genes implicated in digit specification. Developmental Dynamics, 240 (5), pp. 1278-1288.

Dunn, I. C., Paton, I. R., Clelland, A. K., Sebastian, S., Johnson, E. J., McTeir, L., Windsor, D., Sherman, A., Sang, H., Burt, D. W., Tickle, C. and Davey, M. G., 2011. The chicken polydactyly (Po) locus causes allelic imbalance and ectopic expression of Shh during limb development. Developmental Dynamics, 240 (5), pp. 1163-1172.

Fisher, M., Downie, H., Welten, M. C. M., Delgado, I., Bain, A., Planzer, T., Sherman, A., Sang, H. and Tickle, C., 2011. Comparative analysis of 3D expression patterns of transcription factor genes and digit fate maps in the developing chick wing. PLoS ONE, 6 (4), e18661.

Gosling, R., Tickle, C., Running, S. W., Yao, T. D., Dinnyes, A., Osowole, A. A. and Cule, E., 2011. Seven ages of the PhD. Nature, 472 (7343), pp. 283-286.

Duce, S., Morrison, F., Welten, M., Baggott, G. and Tickle, C., 2011. Micro-magnetic resonance imaging study of live quail embryos during embryonic development. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 29 (1), pp. 132-139.

Cho, S. W., Kwak, S., Woolley, T. E., Lee, M. J., Kim, E. J., Baker, R. E., Kim, H. J., Shin, J. S., Tickle, C., Maini, P. K. and Jung, H. S., 2011. Interactions between Shh, Sostdc1 and Wnt signaling and a new feedback loop for spatial patterning of the teeth. Development, 138 (9), pp. 1807-1816.

Bangs, F., Welten, M., Davey, M. G., Fisher, M., Yin, Y. L., Downie, H., Paton, B., Baldock, R., Burt, D. W. and Tickle, C., 2010. Identification of genes downstream of the Shh signalling in the developing chick wing and syn-expressed with Hoxd13 using microarray and 3D computational analysis. Mechanisms of Development, 127 (9-12), pp. 428-441.

Mcdonald, L. A., Gerrelli, D., Fok, Y., Hurst, L. D. and Tickle, C., 2010. Comparison of Iroquois gene expression in limbs/fins of vertebrate embryos. Journal Of Anatomy, 216 (6), pp. 683-691.

Durand, C., Bangs, F., Signolet, J., Decker, E., Tickle, C. and Rappold, G., 2010. Enhancer elements upstream of the SHOX gene are active in the developing limb. European Journal of Human Genetics, 18 (5), pp. 527-532.

Bangs, F. and Tickle, C., 2010. A new mouse ciliopathy with a deletion in the Talpid3 gene, first identified in chicken. Genetics Research, 92 (1), p. 78.

Duce, S., Madrigal, L., Schmidt, K., Cunningham, C., Liu, G., Barker, S., Tennant, G., Tickle, C., Chudek, S. and Miedzybrodzka, Z., 2010. Micro-magnetic resonance imaging and embryological analysis of wild-type andpmamutant mice with clubfoot. Journal Of Anatomy, 216 (1), pp. 108-120.

Towers, M., Fisunov, G. and Tickle, C., 2009. Expression of E2F transcription factor family genes during chick wing development. Gene Expression Patterns, 9 (7), pp. 528-531.

Miedzybrodzka, Z., Lindstrom, N., McIntosh, R., Duce, S., Sapsford, H., Chudek, J. A., Tickle, C., Vargesson, N. and Collinson, J. M., 2009. Insights into the developmental basis of congenital talipes equinovarus from pma mice. Journal of Medical Genetics, 46 (Suppl 1), S63-S63.

Schmidt, K., Hughes, C., Chudek, J. A., Goodyear, S. R., Aspden, R. M., Talbot, R., Gundersen, T. E., Blomhoff, R., Henderson, C., Wolf, C. R. and Tickle, C., 2009. Cholesterol metabolism: the main pathway acting downstream of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase in skeletal development of the limb. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 29 (10), pp. 2716-2729.

Towers, M. and Tickle, C., 2009. Generation of pattern and form in the developing limb. International Journal of Developmental Biology, 53 (5-6), pp. 805-812.

Tickle, C., 2009. Grafting of apical ridge and polarizing region. Methods in Molecular Biology, 461, pp. 313-323.

Towers, M. and Tickle, C., 2009. Growing models of vertebrate limb development. Development, 136 (2), pp. 179-190.

Yin, Y., Bangs, F., Paton, I. R., Prescott, A., James, J., Davey, M. G., Whitley, P., Genikhovich, G., Technau, U., Burt, D. W. and Tickle, C., 2009. The Talpid3 gene (KIAA0586) encodes a centrosomal protein that is essential for primary cilia formation. Development, 136 (4), pp. 655-664.

Fisher, M. E., Clelland, A. K., Bain, A., Baldock, R. A., Murphy, P., Downie, H., Tickle, C., Davidson, D. R. and Buckland, R. A., 2008. Integrating technologies for comparing 3D gene expression domains in the developing chick limb. Developmental Biology, 317 (1), pp. 13-23.

Towers, M., Mahood, R., Yin, Y. L. and Tickle, C., 2008. Integration of growth and specification in chick wing digit-patterning. Nature, 452 (7189), 882-U7.

This list was generated on Sat Feb 25 11:15:18 2017 GMT.

View more publications »