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Centre for Trophoblast Research


Focus of our research is to investigate early stages of human and mouse embryogenesis, underlying transformation of the pre-implantation embryo into the complex 3D body plan at the end of neurulation. Through our research, we have started to identify key regulators which mediate morphogenesis and survival of the embryo at implantation and during pluripotency transition. Moreover, we have recently characterised a sequence of events underlying development of the human embryo prior to gastrulation, leading to the establishment of the future anterior-posterior body axis via the action of the anterior hypoblast signalling centre. Finally, we have started to characterise the process of zippering during mouse neural tube morphogenesis and identified integrin b1 as a key driver for junction remodelling and epithelial closure.


Key publications: 

1) Molè, M.A., Coorens T.H.H, Shahbazi M.N, Weberling A., Weatherbee B.A.T., Gantner C., Sancho-Serra C., Richardson L., Drinkwater A., Syed N., Engley S., Snell P., Christie L., Elder K., Campbell A., Fishel S., Vento-Tormo R., Behjati S. and Zernicka-Goetz M. A single cell characterisation of human embryogenesis identifies pluripotency transitions and putative anterior hypoblast centre. Nat Comm (2021) 12(1):3679.

2) Molè, M.A., Weberling, A., Fässler, R., Campbell, A., Fishel, S., and Zernicka-Goetz, M. Integrin β1 coordinates survival and morphogenesis of the embryonic lineage upon implantation and pluripotency transition. Cell Rep. (2021) 34, 108834.  

3) Molè, M.A., Galea, G.L., Rolo, A., Weberling, A., Nychyk, O., De Castro, S.C., Savery, D., Fässler, R., Ybot-González, P., Greene, N.D.E., and Copp, A.J. Integrin-Mediated Focal Anchorage Drives Epithelial Zippering during Mouse Neural Tube Closure. Dev. Cell. (2020) 52, 321-334.e6.

Research Associate, Babraham Institute
Not available for consultancy