Understanding tissue specification and function in health and disease Understanding tissue specification and function in health and disease

The Cells and Tissues Theme aims at understanding tissue specification and function in health and disease.

A multidisciplinary approach is taken to define mechanisms that direct development and tissue maintenance and the role environmental factors play in the pathogenesis of disease.

We are funded primarily by the BBSRC, MRC, BigC, ARC, BHF, Humane Research Trust and we collaborate extensively with the Norwich Medical School, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and other partners on the Norwich Research Park.

We welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students, postdocs and fellows. We also run a successful MSc in Molecular Medicine.

Academic staff

Theme leader: Dr Grant Wheeler

Developmental Chemical Genetics
Regulation of Neural Crest Development
Metalloproteinases in Xenopus development


Dr Andrew Chantry

Cell signalling mechanisms in cancer and fibrotic disease
Regulation of TGFβ signalling by tyrosine kinase pathways
Ubiquitination and the control of Smad function


Professor Ian Clark

Function and regulation of MMP-28 and ADAMTS-16 in cartilage
Regulation of cartilage catabolism in osteoarthritis
Transcriptional regulation of metalloproteinase and inhibitor genes


Professor Dylan Edwards

Proteases and their inhibitors in cancer biology
The role of metalloproteinases in angiogenesis
Degradome functions in development, tissue repair and degenerative disease


Professor Vince Ellis

Role of pericellular serine proteases in cardiovascular disease & atherosclerosis
Regulation of the fibrinolytic system/plasminogen activation system
Biochemical characterisation of type-II transmembrane serine proteases


Dr Samuel Fountain

Molecular mechanisms of purinergic signalling in health and disease
Excitation-secretion coupling in inflammatory cells
Cell signalling at the immunological synapse


Dr Jelena Gavrilovic

Metalloproteinases in cell-cell and cell matrix interactions
Roles of ADAMs & MMPs in inflammatory aspects of Type 2 Diabetes
Metalloproteinases regulation in peripheral nervous system in Type 2 diabetes


Dr Veronica Grieneisen (John Innes Centre)

Morphogen gradient dynamics
Cell polarity and shape in plants (and animals)
Cell-cell interactions and tissue polarity


Dr Timothy Grocott 

Eye development
Cell signalling
Gene networks


Dr Mohammad Hajihosseini 

Fgf signalling in neural cell specification and differentiation
Role/s of Fgf signalling in lung and limb development
Mouse models of Apert and Pfeiffer craniosynostosis syndromes


Dr Helen James

Improving the student experience
Investigating students' reactions to feedback
Understanding students' motivations for attendance versus absenteeism


Professor Ulrike Mayer 

Integrin function in skeletal muscle
Skeletal muscle regeneration and satellite cell renewal
Therapeutic strategies for muscle wasting diseases


Dr Mette Mogensen 

Microtubule reorganization during epithelial cell differentiation
Microtubule anchorage at non-centrosomal sites in polarized cells
The cytoskeleton in hearing and deafness


Professor Andrea Münsterberg

Wnt signalling pathways in vertebrate skeletal muscle
Molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling cell movements micro
RNAs in embryonic muscle differentiation


Dr Ernst Poschl

Functions of extracellular matrix proteins (Collagen IV)
Basic mechanisms of angiogenesis and the roles of perivascular cells
In vivo functions of members of the annexin family (annexin V/A5)


Dr Graham Riley

The physiology and pathology of tendon and other soft connective tissues
The role and regulation of proteases in chronic tendinopathy
The effect of mechanical strain on extracellular matrix metabolism in a 3D culture environment


Dr Stephen Robinson 

Role of endothelial cell integrins in tumour angiogenesis
Understanding how tumour cells influence endothelial cell behaviour
Understanding how integrins regulate growth factor receptor functions/interactions


Dr Mark Williams 

Signalling self-renewal in the human intestinal epithelium ex vivo
Molecular regulation of intestinal fluid secretion in health and disease
Wnt signalling pathways in colon cancer initiation


Dr Michael Wormstone

Development of in vitro models of the human eye
Methods for Preventing Posterior Capsule Opacification
Growth factor signalling and function