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Fly Facility

Department of Genetics



The Perse School, Cambridge (January 2018)

The Fly Facility provided flies for Perse School upper sixth form students to perform dihybrid crosses in November 2017. In January 2018, Simon Collier (Fly Facility manager) visited The Perse School and gave a presentation on Drosophila to the Perse School Biology Society.

Cambridge Science Festival (March 2017)

The Fly Facility provided flies and microscopes for a Department of Genetics exhibit which formed part of the University of Cambridge Science Festival. The Genetics exhibit attracted more than 250 visitors who were able to to see a range of fruit fly (Drosophila) species, the different stages of the fly life cycle, and a number of striking Drosophila mutants. For fun, they could try on fly goggles to see how the world might look to a fly. The fly exhibit was hosted by Laura Bond and Pallavi Panda (David Glover group), as well as Elizabeth Duxbury (Frank Jiggins group) and Simon Collier (Fly Facility).

The journalist Andrew Anthony visited the Fly Facility in September 2016 and discussed the use of Drosophila in biomedical research with facility staff and users. Andrew met Cahir O'Kane who uses flies to model neurodegenerative diseases, Loraine Tung (in the Coll lab) who uses flies to study appetite and obesity, and Damian Crowther from MedImmune (AstraZeneca) who uses flies to model  Alzheimer's disease. Andrew's article 'In praise of the humble fruit fly' is here

Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge (March 2016)

The Fly facility provided fly stocks with a variety of phenotypes to Nicolle McNaughton who teaches A2 Biology students at Hills Road Sixth Form College.


Cambridge Science Festival (March 2016)

The Fly Facility hosted an exhibit called 'Spot The Difference!' at the 2016 Cambridge Science Festival. The exhibit explored genetic variation in fruit flies and let visitors look at living flies at different stages of development under a microscope. Laura Bond (David Glover group), Ruoyun Hui (Aylwyn Scally group) and Simon Collier (Fly Facility) presented the exhibit. The Fly Facility also supplied flies for a 'Why The Flies' exhibit presented by Jose-Maria Urbano (Benedicte Sanson group) that looked at how flies are used to help fight disease. 

Naked Scientist Podcast (January 2016)

Simon Collier and Sam Lewis (Frank Jiggins group) contributed to the Naked Scientists podcast – “Do You Have Skinny Genes?”- with Graihagh Jackson. Broadcast on Radio 5 Live Saturday 9th January.

UTC-Cambridge student visit (October 2015)

Around sixty year 11 students from the University Technical College (UTC Cambridge) visited the Department of Genetics Fly Facility on October 21st 2015. Read more here.

UTC-Cambridge presentation (September 2015)

Simon Collier (Fly Facility manager) visited UTC-Cambridge and gave a presentation on Drosophila to around sixty year 11 students. The talk included a short history of Drosophila research, a description of the fly’s life cycle and development, as well as an introduction to the FlyBase database and a discussion of some interesting fly genes.

F is for Fruit Fly (July 2015)

The Fly Facility featured in the Cambridge Animal Alphabet under the letter 'F'. Read the 'F is for Fruit Fly' article here.

iGRTRCN article (January 2015)

An article on the Fly Facility appeared on the Insect Genetic Technologies Research Coordination Network (iGTRCN) website. Read the article here.

Contact Information

Tiny fly

E-mail contacts

Simon Collier (Fly Facility Manager):

General Fly Facility enquiries:

Microinjection enquiries:

Fly food enquiries:

Stock collection requests and enquiries:


Department of Genetics,
University of Cambridge, Downing Street,
Cambridge CB2 3EH,
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1223 765124
Fax: +44 (0)1223 333992


The Fly Facility webpages are maintained by Simon Collier. Please contact me ) if you have any problems using the site.