Andrea Streit

Andrea Streit

Professor, Dean of Research, Dental Institute

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Personal profile

Research interests

Sense organs are essential for communication with our environment providing visual, auditory and olfactory input. Among the most common birth defects are craniofacial malformations often associated with sensory defects, while age-related loss of vision, smell and hearing is increasingly common in the ageing population.  Our research aims to understand the molecular control of sense organ development and how we can use this knowledge to understand disease mechanisms and promote regeneration.

In particular, we are dissecting the individual steps that specify sense organ progenitors and then direct them towards different fates and specialised cells. Combining in vivo experiments, molecular biology and bioinformatics tools we take a systems biology approach to uncover the gene networks that underlie these processes. Such networks allow us to discover how regulatory circuits are re-used in different tissues and change during evolution, to predict phenotypes of unknown mutations, to uncover new candidate disease genes and to model a genetic hierarchy that controls cell fate decisions.

Research interests (short)

Sensory nervous system; ear; eye; olfactory epithelium; sensory placodes; gene networks; gene regulation; epigenetic modifications; transcription factors; signalling; regeneration; hair cells

Biographical details

As an undergraduate, Andrea Streit studied biology at the University of Cologne, Germany. She obtained her PhD in neurobiology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany in 1990. As a postdoctoral fellow she worked at the University of Turku (1991-1992) and at the University of Oxford (1992-1994). Andrea then moved to the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, New York, USA,  first as a postdoctoral fellow and then as an associate research scientist.

In 2000, she joined the Department of Craniofacial Development as a Lecturer and has been Professor of Developmental Neurobiology since 2010. Her work is funded by the BBSRC, NIH and Action on Hearing Loss. Andrea was appointed Dean of Research in the Dental Institute in 2014.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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