Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz Group

Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

  Mammalian Embryo and Stem Cell Group

MZG lab 2018

Lab Technician/PA

Hannah Sharplin

Hannah joined us in 2018 as a personal assistant to Magdalena and lab technician to the lab.  She has previously attended Hills Road Sixth Form College and is going to university in September 2019.

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PhD Student

Kirsty Mackinlay

Kirsty received an integrated Masters and Undergraduate (MSci) degree in Cell Biology from University College London in 2017. She is currently undertaking her PhD in the lab thanks to funding from the BBSRC.

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PhD Student

Charlotte Handford

Charlotte completed a MSci in Neuroscience at the University of Nottingham having spent a research year at the University of Melbourne. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute before joining Magda’s lab for a PhD funded by the Centre for Trophoblast Research.

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PhD Student

Antonia Weberling

Antonia joined Magda’s lab in 2017 as a visiting master’s student from the Freie Universität Berlin, where she also completed her BSc in Biochemistry. She was then recruited under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN project "ImageInLife" (GA n.721537) and her PhD research focuses on live imaging techniques to deepen the understanding of cellular dynamics in the early post-implantation embryo.

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PhD Student

Lorenzo Carlo Orietti

Lorenzo completed his BSc in Biotechnology at the University of Milan and a MSc in Molecular Genetics at Imperial College London. After an internship at the IMBA, Vienna he joined Magdalena’s lab as a CTR graduate student in 2015 to study the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underpinning changes in potency during mouse pre-implantation development.

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PhD Student

Shruti Singla

Shruti completed a rotation in Magda's lab in 2015 under Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD programme. She examined transcriptional patterns in mouse embryonic stem cell rosettes. She will be continuing as a Phd student to investigate mechanisms behind the fate of aneuploidy in mosaic mouse embryos. Before that, she obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Christos Kyprianou

Christos joined Magda's lab as a PhD student in 2015. He studied Genetics at the University of Leicester and later obtained a MSc in Clinical Embryology from the University of Oxford. He recently completed a MRes as part of the doctoral training programme funded by BBSRC. His project involves investigating the antero-posterior axis establishment in the mouse embryo and the earliest events of symmetry breaking.

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Meng Zhu

Meng joined  Magda’s lab at the year of 2014 as a PhD student. Before that, she completed her Bachelor’s degree at Tsinghua University, School of Life Sciences. She is studying molecular basis of cell fate decisions in pre-implantation mouse embryo.

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Berna Sozen

Berna obtained an MSc in 2013 in Reproductive Biology in Akdeniz University/Turkey with 6-months spent at the University of Southampton, in the Laboratory of Prof. Tom Fleming, studying signaling pathways that regulate pre-implantation embryo development. After training as a Clinical Embryologist, Berna joined Magda's lab, first in 2015 to perform her PhD research and completed her PhD in 2018 in Histology-Embryology from Akdeniz University in collaboration with the University of Cambridge. Now she is studying the recapitulation of the early events of embryo formation with different types of stem cells.

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Matteo Mole

Matteo completed his MSc in Neuroscience at UCL and did his PhD in Andrew Copp's lab to study the molecular and cellular dynamics underlying neural tube closure. In 2016, he joined Magdalena's group to investigate the role of cell adhesion during post-implantation morphogenesis.

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Gianluca Amadei

Gianluca completed his PhD at the University of Toronto where he studied the role of RNA-binding proteins in the context of mammalian embryonic brain development. Now, he is studying how RNA-binding proteins regulate very early mammalian embryonic development, from zygote to preimplantation. He is also interested in studying novel ways to model mouse development in post-implantation. Gianluca joined Magdalena's group in 2016.

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Neophytos Christodoulou

Neophytos Christodoulou did his PhD at the University of Cyprus under the supervision of Dr. Paris Skourides. His work focused on two major subjects, the role of Calpain2 during Xenopus development and the dynamics of actin during Neural Tube Closure morphogenesis. He joined Magdalena's group in 2015 to study the morphogenesis of extraembryonic tissues.

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Marta Shahbazi

Marta completed her BSs in Biology and MSs in Molecular Biomedicine at the University Autonoma of Madrid. She did her PhD at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) under the supervision of Dr. Mirna Perez-Moreno, working on microtubule binding proteins that regulate cell-cell adhesion in the epidermis. Marta joined Magda's group in 2014 to work on tissue patterning in postimplantation mouse development.

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Andy Cox

Lab Manager

Andy completed his PhD at the University of Southampton, in the Laboratory of Prof. Tom Fleming, where he studied the impact of embryo environment on developmental potential and health, generating an embryonic stem cell system to further characterise the mechanisms of developmental programming.  Andy joined Magda’s group in 2013 to study molecular basis of cell-fate decisions in the peri-implantation embryo. He also investigates early embryogenesis using stem cell models.

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Group head

Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Magdalena carried our her Ph.D. at the University of Warsaw, Poland, under supervision of Andrzej Tarkowski. She came to Cambridge in 1995 to join Martin Evans group with the long-term aim of studying the mechanisms of regulative nature of development and spatial patterning in the mouse embryo. In 1997 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 2001 she became a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow. In 2010, she became a Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology. In 1993 she received a Promising Young Scientist Prize from Foundation for Polish Science, in 2001, Young Investigator Award from EMBO, in 2007 she was elected to EMBO membership and in 2013 she became Fellow of British Academy of Medical Science.

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Former Group Members:


Agnieszka Jedrusik (Former Post-Doc). Senior Scientist in start up.


Juliet Tyndall (Former Lab Technician and PA). Medical student at the University of Edinburgh, UK.


Francesco Antonica (Former Post-Doc). Post-Doc, Centre for Integrative Biology - CIBIO, University of Trento.


Ania Hupalowska (Former Post-Doc). Scientific Illustrator. Boston, USA.


Sarah Harrison (Former PhD Student). Research Liaison Manager. Department for Health and Social Care. London, UK.


Rosie Larter (Former Lab Technician and PA). Biology student at the University of Oxford, UK.


Mubeen Goolam (Former PhD Student). Post-Doc with Elizabeth Robertson, Oxford, UK.


Sanna Vuoristo (Former Post-Doc).  Principal Investigator, University of Helsinki.


Bernhard Strauss (a joint Post-Doc between Zernicka-Goetz and Jon Pines' lab). Post-Doc with Jon Pines, Cambridge.


Paula Coelho (a joint Post-Doc between Magdalena and David Glover's lab). Post-Doc with David Glover, Cambridge.


Sarah Graham (Former Post-Doc). Medical Writer with Oxford PharmaGenesis.


Gaelle Recher (Former Post-Doc). CNRS Researcher, Bordeaux, France.


Ivan Bedzhov (Former Post-Doc). Principal Investigator at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Munster, Germany.


Monika Bialecka (Former Post-Doc). Post-Doc at  the University of Leiden, Netherlands.


Chuen Yan Leung (Former PhD Student). Post Doc with Kenneth Chien, Integrated Cardio Metabolic Center, Karolinska Institute.


Maryna Panamarova (Former PhD Student). Post-Doc at King's College London.


Maria Skamagki (Former PhD Student). Post-Doc with Kitai Kim, Sloan-Kettering Institute. New York.


Anna Ajduk (Former Post-Doc). Associate Professor at Warsaw University.


Samantha Morris (Former Post-Doc). Assistant Professor of Genetics, and Developmental Biology at Washington University School of Medicine, USA.


Roy Teo (Former PhD Student).


Seema Grewal (Former Post-Doc). Reviews editor at Development.


Alex Bruce (Former Post-Doc). Group Leader. University of South Bohemia. Czech Republic.


Emlyn Parfitt (Former PhD Student). Post-Doc, with Micheal Shen, Columbia University, NYC.


Rui Martins (Former Post-Doc). Post-Doc, London.


Qiang Wu (Former Post-Doc). Assistant Professor, Singapore.


Maria Elena Torres-Padilla (Former Post-Doc). Director of the Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells (IES) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.


Lucy Richardson (Former PhD Student). Scientist in IVF clinic


Joanna Grabarek (Former Post-Doc). Post-Doc with Dr. Berenicka Plusa


Lee Carpenter. Senior Scientist, Stem Cells and Immunotherapies, NHS Blood and Transplant, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Stephen Frankenberg. Post-doc with Dr. Claire Chazaud at Faculté de Médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, France. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Dionne Gray. Research assistant at the Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge. Former research assistant.


Seiki Haraguchi. Senior Scientist at Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute, Chiba, Japan. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Karin Lyke-Anderesen. Adjunkt, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University, Denmark. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Sigolene Meilhac. Chargée de Recherche à l’Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Daniel Mesnard. Post-doc with Dr. Daniel Constam, ISREC, Lausanne, Switzerland. Former PhD student obtained his Ph.D. thesis in 2005 under the direction of M. Zernicka-Goetz.


Catherine Moore. Post-doc with Prof. Phil Ingham at University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. Former graduate student, obtained her Ph.D. thesis in 2005 under the direction of M. Zernicka-Goetz.


Jie Na. Associate Professor at School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Karolina Piotrowska-Nitsche. Post-doc with Prof. Anthony Chan, Yerkes National Primates Research Center, Department of Human Genetics, Emory University, Atlanta, USA. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Berenika Plusa. Former post-doctoral fellow, received an independent fellowship to set up a group in Manchester


Miguel Soares. Post-doc with Dr. Anne Fergunson-Smith, Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Roberta Weber. London, United Kingdom. Former research assistant.


Florence Wianny. Chargée de Recherche INSERM atDepartment of Stem Cells and Cortical Development, Lyon, France. Former post-doctoral fellow.


Krzysztof Wicher. Scientist at MedImmune, Cambridge, UK. Former post-doctoral fellow.


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