Our lab is based in the Centre for Integrative Physiology in the heart of the city of Edinburgh, where we are embedded in a vibrant community of developmental biologists and physiologists. We share space and ideas with the groups of Andrew Jarman, Douglas Armstrong, Guisy Pennetta and Jamie Davies.

Barry Denholm


Barry is a developmental biologist and physiologist, with a primary research interest in the genetic basis of organ form and function. He received his PhD in Developmental Genetics from Leicester University, and then carried out his postdoctoral work with Professor Helen Skaer out at the Universities of Sheffield and Cambridge. During this time he studied the insect Malpighian (renal) tubule as a simple model for organogenesis, and also pioneered the insect nephrocyte model for the study of human kidney diseases. He established his own lab in the Zoology Department, Cambridge in 2010 thanks to a Kidney Research UK fellowship. He then moved to the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer in 2014. His lab is funded by the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC, and Carnegie Trust.

Luigi Zechini


I have a multi-disciplinary background, having spent time working in evolutionary biology and biomedicine. In the past I have studied the behavioural ecology of parasitic wasps, limb development and laterality in anurans, and more recently, I have worked in laboratories specializing in molecular mechanisms that underlie Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease using Drosophila as a model.

As a research assistant in Barry’s lab we are using Drosophila to investigate the mechanism(s) by which the heart senses and adapts to changes in its mechanical environment.

Robin Beaven

Image result for robin beaven

During his PhD Robin worked with Andreas Prokop in Manchester, studying nervous system development in Drosophila. He moved to Edinburgh to study cytoskeletal regulation in female meiosis, as a postdoc with Hiro Ohkura. In his current postdoctoral research he is turning his experience of using the powerful genetics and in vivo imaging provided by the fly, to study mechanisms of development and pattering of the Malpighian tubules.


wildman pizza lunch.jpg
Denholm lab lunch at Wildmanwood Pizza
The lab and puppies at Summerhall