- Associate Professor in Neuroscience - University of East Anglia, Norwich (2003- present)
- Postdoctoral fellow - University of Birmingham, UK (2001 - 2003) (The Wellcome Trust)
- Postdoctoral fellow - Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF, now CRUK), Lincoln's Inn Fields, London (1996-2001) (ICRF and Human Frontiers fellowships)
- Postdoctoral fellow - National Institutes of Neurological Disorders & Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bethesda, USA, and Pasteur Institute, Paris, France (1994-1996) (The British Trust for Myelin Project)
- Post-graduate certificate in Higher Education Practice (PGHEP) – University of East Anglia, Norwich
- Ph.D. - Developmental Neurobiology - National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Mill Hill, London (1994) (Medical Research Council Studentship)
- M.Sc. - Neurological Sciences - University College London, University of London (1990)
- B.Sc. – Human Biology – King’s College London, University of London (1988)
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Interrogation of a lacrimo-auriculo-dento-digital syndrome protein reveals novel modes of fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10) function,
in Biochemical Journal
pp. 4593-4607Full Text UEA Repository
Hypothalamic tanycytes—masters and servants of metabolic, neuroendocrine, and neurogenic functions,
in Frontiers in Neuroscience
article no. 387Full Text UEA Repository
A Novel Mouse Fgfr2 Mutant, Hobbyhorse (hob), Exhibits Complete XY Gonadal Sex Reversal,
in PLoS ONE
article no. e100447Full Text UEA Repository
Transient Inhibition of FGFR2b-Ligands Signaling Leads to Irreversible Loss of Cellular β-Catenin Organization and Signaling in AER during Mouse Limb Development,
in PLoS ONE
article no. e76248Full Text UEA Repository
Fgf10-Expressing Tanycytes Add New Neurons to the Appetite/Energy-Balance Regulating Centers of the Postnatal and Adult Hypothalamus,
in The Journal of Neuroscience
pp. 6170-6180Full Text UEA Repository
Characterization of a Novel Fibroblast Growth Factor 10 (Fgf10) Knock-In Mouse Line to Target Mesenchymal Progenitors during Embryonic Development,
in PLoS ONE
article no. e38452Full Text UEA Repository
The expression and function of microRNAs in chondrogenesis and osteoarthritis,
in Arthritis & Rheumatism
pp. 1909-1919Full Text UEA Repository
Identification and characterization of an inhibitory fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) molecule, up-regulated in an Apert Syndrome mouse model,
in Biochemical Journal
pp. 71-81Full Text UEA Repository
066 Identification and Characterisation of Micrornas Involved in Chondrocyte Differentiation and Osteoarthritis,Full Text UEA Repository
Frizzled-10 promotes sensory neuron development in Xenopus embryos,
in Developmental Biology
pp. 143-155Full Text UEA Repository
Evidence that Fgf10 contributes to the skeletal and visceral defects of an Apert syndrome mouse model,
in Developmental Dynamics
pp. 376-385Full Text UEA Repository
microRNA-449 is a putative regulator of choroid plexus development and function,
in Brain Research
pp. 20-26Full Text UEA Repository
Fibroblast Growth Factor 10 Plays a Causative Role in the Tracheal Cartilage Defects in a Mouse Model of Apert Syndrome,
in Pediatric Research
pp. 386-390Full Text UEA Repository
Localization and fate of Fgf10-expressing cells in the adult mouse brain implicate Fgf10 in control of neurogenesis,
in Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
pp. 857-868Full Text UEA Repository
Formation and differentiation of multiple mesenchymal lineages during lung development is regulated by beta-catenin signaling,
in PLoS ONE
article no. e1516Full Text UEA Repository
FGF Signalling in cranial suture development and pathogenesis,
in Craniofacial sutures: Development, Disease and Treatment.
Front Oral Biol, Basel, Karger
pp. 160-177UEA Repository
Levels of mesenchymal FGFR2 signalling modulate smooth muscle progenitor cell commitment in the lung.,
in Developmental Biology
pp. 52-62Full Text UEA Repository
The cartilage specific microRNA-140 targets histone deacetylase 4 in mouse cells,
in FEBS Letters
pp. 4214-4217Full Text UEA Repository
FGF10/FGFR2b signaling plays essential roles during in vivo embryonic submandibular salivary gland morphogenesis,
in BMC Developmental Biology
article no. 11Full Text UEA Repository
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Key Research Interests
We work to genetically dissect the role/s of Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF)/ FGF receptor (FGFR) signaling system in mammalian organogenesis and adult stem cell function. In the past, we have elucidated these roles in the developing craniofacial sutures, axial skeleton, limbs, lungs, genitalia, submandibular glands and the developing nervous system. Our model organism and research tool is transgenic mice that allow lineage tracing in conjunction with loss and gain-of function in FGFs, FGFRs or FGF signaling mediator genes. In particular, we have generated and studied gain-of-FGFR1 and FGFR2 mutant mice that model two congenital craniosynostosis diseases: Pfeiffer and Apert syndromes. Currently we are interested in novel populations of slow-dividing/ quiescent stem/progenitor cells in the postnatal/adult brain, with a view to understanding their normal role in brain function and exploiting their potential to alter physiology and brain repair. In particular, a novel neurogenic niche in the postnatal and adult hypothalamus, wherein tanycytes that express FGF10 act as neural stem cells and supply the hypothalamic neural circuits with new neurons. Our in vivo studies are complimented by in vitro and ex vivo model systems to delineate the molecular role of FGF signaling in stem/ progenitor cell growth and differentiation.
Current Research Projects
- Investigation of the stem cells and the dynamics of neurogenesis in the adult hypothalamus
- Cellular and molecular basis of neurological defects in Apert syndrome
- Role of FGF signaling in the development of muscle and tendon progenitors
Life in our research group
We are based in the Biomedical Research Centre (BMRC) of the School of Biological Science, where we enjoy dynamic interactions with scientists of different background, from stem cell biologists and immunologists, to virologist and neuroscientists. BMRC provides a friendly atmosphere for sharing equipment, technical expertise and floor discussions. We also have ongoing collaborative studies with colleagues based in UK, USA, Japan, France and Finland, through which we share expertise, reagents and transgenic mice. We regularly use immunocytochemistry on tissue sections and cultured neural cells derived from the embryonic and adult rodent brain. Images generated from our work have won several prizes, including the annual Olympus competitions of 2007 and 2009 and runner up prize of ASGBI society in 2011..
Current lab Members
- Timothy G. Goodman (BBSRC-funded Post-doc)
- Benediktas Kaminskas (BBSRC DTP funded PhD student)
- Stuart Nayar (BBSRC DTP funded PhD student)
- Hannah Felstead (Anatomical Soc of GB&I funded PhD student)
- Shaun Clare (BBSRC-funded Laboratory Assistant)
- Estela Perez Santamarina (BBSRC DTP funded PhD student)
- Arron Reed (MSc Student)
- Neil Sparshott
- Irina Djackova
- Benita Turner Bridger
- Alaleh Nadji-Samiei
- Niels Haan
- Ben Jevans
- Theoni Ingrid Demcollari
- Sumi Shrestha
- Terence Neale
- Ben Warner
- Andrew Loveday
- Christina M. Stratford
- Jacob Beebe
- Julia Mundy
- Marta Mikolajczak
- Skills for Biologists (BIO-4008Y)
- Foundations for Chemistry and Physiology (BIO-4009Y)
- Introduction to Biomedicine (1A5Y)
- Human Physiology (BIO-5004A)
- Cell Biology (BIO-5005B)
- Blood Biomedicine (3C53)
- Cellular Signaling (BIO-6003A)
- Genomes, Genes and Genomics (BIO-6013A)
- Molecular and Cellular Principles of Developmental (BIO-6012A)
- Supervision of the research projects of final year undergraduates, and summer projects funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Company of Biologists
- External supervisor of two PhD students at the University of Giessen
External Activities and Indicators of Esteem
I have reviewed research proposals submitted to the Wellcome Trust; BBSRC; MRC; Netherland Organization for Scientific Research (NWO); Multiple Sclerosis Society; Breast Cancer Research Campaign; Yorkshire Cancer Research; BIG C, Norfolk’s local cancer charity; and NC3R.
I have also peer-reviewed manuscripts for the following journals: Birth Defects Research; Cell & Tissues Research; Clinical and Molecular Teratology; Development; Disease Models and Mechanisms; European J. Cell Biology; Frontiers in Craniofacial Biology and Physiology; J. Dental Research; J. Anatomy; J. Neurochemistry; J. of Medical Genetics; Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry; Molecular Metabolism; Neuroscience; Nature Genetics; PLoS ONE; and Stem Cells.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERSHIP:
- Developmental Neuroscience Journal
- International Scholarly Research Network
- Frontiers on Craniofacial biology
- World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics
- 2004 - University College London; Dept. of Anatomy & Developmental Biology.
- 2005 - King’s College London; Dept of Craniofacial Development and Orthodontics.
- 2006 - National Inst. for Medical Research, Mill Hill.
- Lyon, France. French Connective Tissue Society meeting at the Inst. of Protein Biology and Chemistry (IBCP).
- 2008 - Dept. Cell Morphology & Molecular Neurobiology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.
- 2009 - Experimental Biology 2009/ FASEB - American Anatomical Society symposium: ‘FGF signaling in development and disease’, New Orleans, USA.
- Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM), Oxford.
- 2010 - MRC Harwell, Mammalian Genetics Unit.
- 2011 - Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.
- 2014 - Re-Work Technology Summit, London.
- FGFs in Health and Disease Gordon Research Conferences, Ventura, California.
- 2015 - FUSION Conference on FGFs in Development and Repair. Cancun, Mexico.
- 2016 - FGFs in Health and Disease Gordon Research Conferences, Hong Kong.
- -Winter meeting of the Anatomical Society of GB& Ireland, London.
- July 2008 - Teacher Scientist Network (TSN) lecture on stem cells.
- Dec 2008 - Discussion on the importance and
- Future of research into stem cells in; Future Radio’s Community Chest programme
- 2009 - National Brain Awareness week – UEA campus. Presentation on neurological diseases, and showing of the film; ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’ (http://www.myelin.org) to increase awareness of myelin-associated diseases such as ALS and Multiple Sclerosis.
- 2013 - UEA 50th anniversary Science exhibition.
- 2014 - Engagement of national and international media organizations regarding the discovery of tanycytes as a population of neural stem cells in the adult hypothalamus
- Director of Post-graduate Studies