Hilary Ashe graduated from Aberdeen University with a BSc in Biochemistry in 1991, then moved to the University of Oxford in 1992 where she carried out DPhil studies in Nick Proudfoot’s lab on transcriptional regulation. Following award of her DPhil in 1996, Hilary moved to Mike Levine’s lab in UC Berkeley in 1997 where she worked on developmental patterning by cell signaling using the Drosophila embryo as a model. Hilary returned to a Lecturer position in the Centre for Developmental Genetics at Sheffield University in 2000, where she received an EMBO Young Investigator award and Lister Institute Research Fellowship. Activation of this fellowship coincided with Hilary’s move to University of Manchester in 2002. Hilary’s research exploits the Drosophila model organism to understand how cell signaling and gene expression dynamics control cell fates during development.