Magdalena Zernicka-GoetzDepartment of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK F1000 Faculty Member (since 10 March 2002)
Professor of Developmental Biology in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge
Magdalena did her PhD in Andrzej Tarkowskis group (Warsaw University, Poland). She came to Cambridge in 1995 to join Martin Evans lab with the long-term aim of studying the mechanisms of regulative nature of development and spatial patterning in the early mouse embryo. She was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship from the Lister Institute to start her independent group at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute in Cambridge in 1997. In 2001 she became a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow. She has had a long-standing relationship with EMBO; first as an EMBO fellow, then she received an EMBO Young Investigator Award (2001-2004), and in 2007 was elected to EMBO membership. Magdalena became a Reader in Developmental Biology in 2007.
Senior Research Fellowship from the Lister Institute
2001 Wellcome Senior Research Fellow
2001-2004 EMBO Young Investigator Award
In 2008 Magdalena became the First Anne McLaren Awardee from the International Society of Differentiation
We study the development of the mouse embryo because it is an excellent model for the human embryo. In contrast to embryos of most non-mammalian species where development follows a fixed set of instructions, cell fate is flexible in mammalian embryos enabling them to recover from perturbations. However, early mammalian embryos do not appear to be simply a uniform balls of cells; their cells do show some preferences for adopting certain positions that will in turn govern what they develop into. We are looking at how cells come to occupy different positions within the embryo and how this influences their development to activate sets of molecular switches. We also want to know whether and how 'forcing' a cell along a particular developmental pathway will cause it to move to a place more suited to its new way of life. Although the embryo appears quite primitive before it has implanted into the wall of the mothers womb, in fact it comprises some four cell-types. A few cells from one cell-type will develop into a cluster that shortly after implantation will send out the signal to make the head-end of the body. We wish to know the origins of these cells and how their development is influenced by surrounding structures.
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F1000 Biology Reports 2012 4:(11) (01 Jun 2012)
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