I am a developmental and stem cell biologist at the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, The Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. I received my Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology (Developmental Biology) from King’s College London in 2001 and, after undertaking a postdoctoral position in the University of Nottingham, I joined the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit.
I am interested in the development of the haematopoietic system, in particular how haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are created during embryogenesis. I have established Xenopus as a unique model for the study of the ontogeny of this tissue stem cell. Using this model organism, I made the all-important demonstration that adult and embryonic blood have distinct origins and are differentially programmed.
I have also identified and characterised the niches where the precursors for HSCs reside temporarily and demonstrated that signalling pathways are recurrently used during HSC programming, particularly that the growth factor, VEGFA, plays several distinct roles.
I am currently establishing the gene regulatory networks controlling the programming of HSCs in the embryo and I am establishing collaborations aiming to applying this information for the establishment of protocols for the in vitro differentiation of HSCs from pluripotent stem cells.
Dissecting BMP signaling input into the gene regulatory networks driving specification of the blood stem cell lineage.
Kirmizitas A. et al, (2017), Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114, 5814 - 5821
Adult red cells are programmed completely independently of embryonic red cells during development.
Gering M. et al, (2005), BLOOD CELLS MOLECULES AND DISEASES, 34, 112 - 112
On the development of embryonic hematopoietic and endothelial cells in Xenopus.
Ciau-Uitz A. and Patient R., (2004), DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY, 271, 583 - 583
The origins and programming of adult and embryonic blood in xenopus and zebrafish.
Patient R. et al, (2003), BLOOD CELLS MOLECULES AND DISEASES, 31, 158 - 159
Origins and programming of hematopoietic stem cells in fish and frog embryos.
Ciau-Uitz A. et al, (2000), BLOOD CELLS MOLECULES AND DISEASES, 26, 501 - 501