Unravelling the genetics of physiological responses to diet

Max Reuter (primary)
Genetics, Evolution and Environment
University College London
Nazif Alic (secondary)
Genetics, Evolution and Environment – Institute of Healthy Ageing
University College London


Organisms have evolved to optimally exploit their environment and maximise their survival an reproduction within the constraints of the resources available. This project aims to improve our understanding of the genetics of metabolic and physiological responses to diet, in order to gain insights into their capacity to evolve, he genetic constraints limiting their adaptation and how these can impact organismal health and performance. We do so using the fruit fly as a model, which shares many of the conserved regulatory mechanisms with mammals [including humans] but allows us to use powerful experimental approaches and exploit sophisticated genetic resources.


Camus MF, Piper MD, Reuter M [2019] Sex-specific transcriptomic responses to changes in the nutritional environment. eLife 8:e51601.

Camus MF, Fowler K, Piper MW, Reuter M [2017] Sex and genotype effects on nutrient-dependent fitness landscapes in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Roy Soc B 284:20172237.

Maklakov AA, Simpson SJ, Zajitschek F, Hall MD, Dessmann J, Clissold F, et al. [2008] Sex-specific fitness effects of nutrient intake on reproduction and lifespan. Curr Biol 18:1062-1066.

Partridge L, Alic N, Bjedov I, Piper MDW [2011] Ageing in Drosophila: The role of insulin/Igf and TOR signaling network. Exp Gerontol 46:376-381.

Mackay TF, Richards S, Stone EA, Barbadilla A, Ayroles JF, Zhu D, et al. [2012] The Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel. Nature 482:173-178.

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
GeneticsMathematics / StatisticsMolecular Biology