Fiona Wardle
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Personal profile

Research interests

We are interested in the networks of gene regulation that control tissue and organ formation in the early vertebrate embryo. The correct regulation of gene activation and repression is crucial both for cell types to become established during embryonic development and for on-going differentiation of stem cells in the adult. Conversely, deregulation of gene expression may lead to cancerous changes and other diseases. Understanding the programs that control gene expression and underlie cell differentiation is thus central to many aspects of human health.

Our main focus is on gene regulation during the formation of mesoderm and endoderm – two basic cell types that form in the early embryo. Cells specified as mesoderm at early stages will go on to form tissues such as blood, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, cartilage and bone, whereas endoderm cells will form liver, lung, pancreas and gut. By identifying the programs of gene expression that lead to the formation of these cells types we hope to be able to recapitulate them in the lab and generate cells that could be used for repair and replacement of damaged tissues in humans.

We use a combination of approaches to study gene regulation during cell differentiation including experimental embryology, molecular biology, genomics, proteomics and computational biology in a variety of systems including zebrafish and mammalian cells.

Research interests (short)

Transcriptional regulation of mesoderm formation in vertebrates

Click here for the Wardle group webpage

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Regulation of the BMP signalling pathway by BMP1-related metalloproteases, UCL University College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998

Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 1994


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