Professor David Evans's work concerns the proteins of the plant nuclear envelope and their interactions with Chromatin and with the cytoskeleton. The work has led to a number of collaborations and has significance to crop protection and food security as the nuclear envelope is very important in plant responses to stress and disease. The nucleus is the cell's 'brain'. It stores the chromosomes and protein elements which structurally organise the DNA, similar to sewing thread wrapped around several spindles. This entity of chromosomes and organisational proteins is also called chromatin. The spatial arrangement of chromosomes – e.g. tightly coiled versus opened up – can for example determine whether a gene is accessible to be switched on and transcribed into a protein which then subsequently functions in the cell or organism. The nucleus is encapsulated in the nuclear envelope, a tightly controlled membrane structure. Proteins in the nuclear envelope are, for example, responsible for transport in and out of the nucleus or for forming bridges between the cell cytoskeleton and the nuclear skeleton. This is important for sending signals across in both ways or affecting the position and movement of the nucleus in response to signals. These proteins are also important during cell division, when the nucleus (and nuclear envelope) break down and chromosomes rearrange to be distributed into daughter cells. You can find out more about David's research here.