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Craig Simpson

Staff picture: Craig Simpson
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Senior Postdoctoral Scientist
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Employment History

  • April 2011-present: Postdoctoral research scientist, The James Hutton Institute
  • 2007-present: Postgraduate Liaison Officer at the Institute
  • 1991–April 2011: Postdoctoral research scientist, SCRI
  • 1988–1991: Research Assistant, University of Dundee, Dundee
  • 1986–1988: Scientific Officer, Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge
  • PhD Dundee University
  • BSc (Hons) University of St Andrews

Current research interests

We are interested in how plant genes express themselves in response to environmental and developmental changes.

  • Gene expression involves a number of highly co-ordinated and actively regulated steps. Splicing is one important step in this process. Alternative splicing, where many different mRNAs can be derived from a single gene, increases cell protein complexity and function. We have established a system that allows us to measure changes in alternative splicing of hundreds of genes simultaneously. We are using this system to monitor changes in alternative splicing during tissue, developmental and environmental responses. We are also measuring the effect of changes in splicing factor concentrations by measuring changes of alternative splicing in knockout, mutant or over-expressing plant lines.
  • Splice site selection is generally regulated through the interaction of protein splicing factors with RNA sequence elements that promote or inhibit the selection of associated splice sites. We are studying the role of Polypyrimidine Tract Binding – like proteins (PTB-L) in plant splicing and their ability to influence plant splice site choice.
  • The expression of a number of RNA binding proteins and their cellular location are influenced by the onset of stresses, such as temperature for example. We are interested in a number of RNA binding domain containing proteins that show increased expression in response to stress.

Past research

Along with other groups we have established splicing sequences required for efficient and accurate plant pre-mRNA splicing.


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.