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Graham Luke

Technical Head


I am the lecturer and convenor of a second year undergraduate Vertebrate Zoology module in the School of Biological Sciences which I have run for around 10 years. I have lectured to undergraduates for about 14 years on a number of subjects including Invertebrate Zoology, Marine Biology and Developmental Biology.

Recently I have taken on the role of the SBS Lead on the Health and Life Sciences Building project. This is a +£30m project to construct a state of the art building to house the Divisions of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Bacteriology and Virology, and Cardiovascular Biology, and the Cole Museum of Zoology. Construction work on the HLS building is due to start in early 2018, and to be completed by 2020. My role in this is quite complex including vetting the design and functionality of the various aspects of the building, taking an overview of the project on behalf of the SBS management team, and acting as liaison point between SBS, the design team, other University colleagues and organisations, and other key stakeholders. Another responsibility lies in planning the departure from the old buildings currently occupied and moving into HLS.

Other roles

Within the Technical Services one of my roles is to provide support and direction for the Technical staff as regards to personal professional development (for example in supporting Professional Registration and membership of the HEA) and also for development of best practice and appropriate skills acquisition within the teaching and research environments they work in. Another major role is supporting, developing and managing research microscopy (BF, fluorescent, confocal and Super Resolution microscopy) facilities within the School of Biological Sciences. I also provide training in the use of these facilities and in developing protocols. Although the facilities are based in SBS they are open to other users in and outside the University. I also provide support and training to Technical Service colleagues in molecular biology (I did my PhD and Postdoctoral research here at Reading in this area) and in High Speed and Ultra-speed centrifugation.
















  • Collins-Hooper, H., et al., Efficient myogenic reprogramming of adult white fat stem cells and bone marrow stem cells by freshly isolated skeletal muscle fibers. Transl Res, 2011.
  • Valasek, P., et al., Cellular and molecular investigations into the development of the pectoral girdle. Dev Biol, 2011. Shimeld, S.M., B. Degnan, and G.N. Luke, Evolutionary genomics of the Fox genes: origin of gene families and the ancestry of gene clusters. Genomics, 2010. 95(5): p. 256-60.
  • Shimeld, S.M., et al., Clustered Fox genes in lophotrochozoans and the evolution of the bilaterian Fox gene cluster. Dev Biol, 2010. 340(2): p. 234-48.
  • Otto, A., et al., Canonical Wnt signalling induces satellite-cell proliferation during adult skeletal muscle regeneration. J Cell Sci, 2008. 121(Pt 17): p. 2939-50.
  • Luke, G.N., et al., Occurrence, function and evolutionary origins of '2A-like' sequences in virus genomes. J Gen Virol, 2008. 89(Pt 4): p. 1036-42.
  • Larroux, C., et al., Genesis and expansion of metazoan transcription factor gene classes. Mol Biol Evol, 2008. 25(5): p. 980-96.
  • Schmidt, C., et al., Expression and regulation of Nkd-1, an intracellular component of Wnt signalling pathway in the chick embryo. Anat Embryol (Berl), 2006. 211(5): p. 525-34.
  • Osborne, P.W., et al., Identification and characterisation of five novel miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements (MITEs) in amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae). Int J Biol Sci, 2006. 2(2): p. 54-60.
  • Mazet, F., G.N. Luke, and S.M. Shimeld, The amphioxus FoxQ1 gene is expressed in the developing endostyle. Gene Expr Patterns, 2005. 5(3): p. 313-5.
  • Mazet, F., et al., Expression of AmphiCoe, an amphioxus COE/EBF gene, in the developing central nervous system and epidermal sensory neurons. Genesis, 2004. 38(2): p. 58-65.
  • Luke, G.N., et al., Dispersal of NK homeobox gene clusters in amphioxus and humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2003. 100(9): p. 5292-5.
  • Luke, G.N. Education, Engineering and Enlightenment; The Three E's. State and Home Education Contrasted. Home School Researcher, Volume 14, No. 4, 2001, p. 13-23.
  • Luke, G.N. and P.W. Holland, Amphioxus type I keratin cDNA and the evolution of intermediate filament genes. J Exp Zool, 1999. 285(1): p. 50-6.
  • Patton, S.J., G.N. Luke, and P.W. Holland, Complex history of a chromosomal paralogy region: insights from amphioxus aromatic amino acid hydroxylase genes and insulin-related genes. Mol Biol Evol, 1998. 15(11): p. 1373-80.
  • Simkiss, K. and G. Luke, Ballistic transfection of avian primordial germ cells in ovo, in Transgenic Animals: Generation and Use, L.M. Houdebine, Editor. 1997, Harwood Academic: Amsterdam ; Great Britain. p. xxii, 576p.
  • Simkiss, K., G. Luke, and J. Behnam, Female chromosomes in cockerel ejaculates. Proc Biol Sci, 1996. 263(1374): p. 1245-9.
  • Bresler, M., et al., Manipulations of germ-cell populations in the gonad of the fowl. Br Poult Sci, 1994. 35(2): p. 241-7.
  • Vick, L., G. Luke, and K. Simkiss, Germ-line chimaeras can produce both strains of fowl with high efficiency after partial sterilization. J Reprod Fertil, 1993. 98(2): p. 637-41.
  • Simkiss, K., et al., The production of transgenic birds from primordial germ cell manipulated embryos, in Avian Endocrinology, P.J. Sharp, Editor. 1993, Society for Endocrinology: [Bristol]. p. 408p.
  • Page, N., et al., Transfection of chick cells by non-retroviral DNA. Biochem Soc Trans, 1991. 19(3): p. 328S.

Career History

After graduating from Leicester University I was employed as a technician within the Psychology Department and then the Department of Pure and Applied Zoology at Reading. I then studied for a PhD within that department as a research assistant investigating the clustering of homeobox genes in the Cephalochordate, Branchiostoma floridae. This was funded by the BBSRC. Following this I was a post-doctoral researcher investigating firstly the evolution and phylogenetics of FOX genes in a variety of invertebrate taxa (Oxford and Reading University) and then the effect on the transcriptomic/proteomic profile of embryonic musculature under treatment with the myogenic factors follistatin and myostatin (here at the University of Reading). Following this I became a technician again.