Cheng laboratory: Stem cell and organ size control regulation

Research Overview

View Associate Professor Louise Cheng's latest publications listing here

We use the fruit fly Drosophila to study how organ size is maintained and how metabolism can shape organ growth.

We are interested in a number of questions:

  • How differentiation is maintained in the developing nervous system
  • How the niche surrounding the neural stem cells affect stem cell behaviour
  • How one specialized cell type in the CNS can become another through trans-differentiation
  • How regeneration is regulated in the CNSs of flies and zebrafish
  • How tumours breakdown fat and muscles during cachexia
  • How organs communicate with each other to maintain tissue homeostasis


Dr Francesca Froldi, Post Doctoral Researcher

Dr Sofya Golenkina, Post Doctoral Scientist

Dr Callum Dark, Post Doctoral Scientist

Miss Qian Dong, PhD Student

Miss Kellie Veen, PhD Student

Miss Edel Alvarez, PhD Student

Miss Boon Hui Lee, Master Student


Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute


2019-2021 ARC Discovery Project. How neurons maintain their fate. Awarded $455,000

2018-2022 ARC Future Fellowship. Awaking quiescent neural stem cells. Awarded $713,125

2018-2020 NHMRC Project Grant. Metabolic reprogramming of dedifferentiation. Awarded $676,162

2016-2018 NHMRC Project Grant. The Hippo pathway, neural stem cells and brain growth. Awarded $363,136

2016 Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute Foundation Grant. Awarded $55,000

2013-2015 NHMRC Project Grant. How does the tumour suppressor: Nerfin-1 prevents dietary dependent tumour growth. Awarded $609,178

2015 Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute Foundation Grant. Awarded $50,000