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Francis-West Lab

Group Members

Francis-WestPhilippa (Pip) Francis-West, PhD 
Principal Investigator, Professor in Developmental and Cell Biology

Pip obtained a BA in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge and her PhD at the University of London. She underwent post-doctoral training at the CRC and UCL within London and joined the Department of Craniofacial Development in 1994 as a lecturer. Her primary interest is to understand cell signalling regulation of embryonic development with a previous focus on the BMP and Wnt pathways. Her current research focuses on Fat4-Dchs1 signalling during mammalian development.


Ivan EnriquezIvan Crespo Enriquez, PhD
Post-doctoral Research Associate

Ivan graduated in Cellular Biology and Genetics at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona and moved to the Institute of Neuroscience of Alicante to do his PhD in Developmental Biology. There, he centred his research on the study of cellular signalling during early morphogenesis of the central nervous system in mammals. In July 2014, Ivan joined the Francis-West group and is interested now in the analysis of two proto-cadherins, FAT4 and DCHS1. Their corresponding gene mutations in humans have been related clinically with severe developmental disorders such as Van Maldergem and Hennekam Syndromes. Ivan’s research is currently focused on these two membrane proteins, their roles during craniofacial mouse development, their possible interactions with Planar Cell Polarity and Hippo pathways, and how they regulate and modify cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous behaviour responses.


Marcus20PhotoMarcus Dawson, BSc 
PhD Student

Marcus graduated with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from The University of Manchester in 2013 and is now doing his PhD as part of the BBSRC London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program. Combining expertise in developmental signalling (Francis-West group) and biomaterial engineering (Gentleman group), Marcus is taking an interdisciplinary approach to study the role of mechanotransduction in stem cell differentiation. His current research focuses on understanding how the Hippo signalling effectors YAP/TAZ regulate gene expression by sensing different mechanical environments.


CatiaCatia Ferreira de Sousa, PhD
Post-doctoral Research Associate

Catia obtained a PhD in Axonal Guidance at Cranfield and Cambridge University and has Molecular Medicine Master's from Cranfield University. She joined the Frances-West lab in 2013, where she investigates the role of Fat4 and Dchs1 in the development of branching organs, such as kidneys and salivary glands. She uses 3D imaging methods together with molecular approaches to characterize size, orientation and genetic differences to find the reason behind malformed organs in Fat4 and Dchs1 knock-out mouse.                                                                                

Tina MartinTina Martin, MSc 
Research Technician

Tina graduated in 2010 with a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Leicester and then studied for a MSc in Conservation Biology at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Tina joined the Francis-West Laboratory at King;s College London Faculty in 2013 and supports not only all the research activities in the laboratory but is also carrying out her own research project on development of skeletal muscles. 

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