Pocock Group

Roger Pocock, Associate Professor, DPhil
Participating group members:
Post docs: Mikael Egebjerg Pedersen, Konstantinos Kagias and Agnieszka Podolska
PhD student: Camilla Nehammer
Address etc.:
Biotech Research and Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maal√łes Vej 5, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark. email: roger.pocock@bric.ku.dk

Profile of the group:

The goal of our laboratory is to reveal novel genetic mechanisms that control neuronal development and stress responses. We use the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study the roles of ncRNAs in such fundamental processes. We are taking 2 main approaches: First, using whole-genome sequencing, we are obtaining expression profiles of microRNAs after exposure to specific stressors – hypoxia, high temperature and radiation. Subsequently, the functional role of stress-regulated microRNAs are examined by analyzing microRNA knockout strains in C. elegans for resistance or sensitivity to such stressors. Further work will elucidate novel mechanisms required for stress responses using mammalian models.

In a second approach, we are identifying roles of highly conserved ncRNAs in C. elegans. In ongoing work, we have identified specific microRNAs that are required for neuronal guidance and for organ development and we are at present attempting to identify the molecular mechanisms through which these microRNAs act.


  • Pocock, R. Decoding the microRNA response to hypoxia. Pflugers Arch. 2011 Mar;461(3):307-15. Epub 2011 Jan 5.
  • Pocock, R and Hobert, O. Hypoxia activates a latent neuronal circuit for processing gusta-tory information in C. elegans. Nature Neuroscience 2010 May; 13(5):610-4.
  • Pocock, R and Hobert, O. Oxygen levels affect axon guidance and neuronal migration in C. elegans. Nature Neuroscience 2008 Aug; 11(8):894-900.