Dr Fiona Wardle
Telephone: +44 (0)207 848 6469
Fiona is a Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Development at the Randall Division, King’s College London, where she studies transcriptional regulation of early embryonic development.
Fiona’s interest in development biology and transcriptional regulation was sparked as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge by such renowned biologists as Prof. Sir John Gurdon and Prof. Ron Laskey. After gaining a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, Fiona won a Wellcome Prize PhD studentship and moved to the laboratory of Dr Leslie Dale at University College London. Here she studied the role of secreted metalloproteases in regulating BMP signalling during mesoderm formation. At UCL, Fiona also took an active role in graduate student matters and was a committee member of the Anatomy Postgraduate Society and UCL Graduate Society.
Fiona gained her PhD in Developmental Biology in 1998 and in early 1999 moved to the laboratory of Prof. Hazel Sive at the Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. Here she investigated how the anterior of the embryo is positioned by studying transcriptional regulation in transgenic frogs. She was awarded a Sokol Fellowship in 2001. Fiona also continued her interest in developing the careers of young scientist, being a member of the MIT postdoc association and a committee to improve postdoc benefits at the Whitehead Institute. In addition, Fiona was actively involved in the Whitehead public education program.
In 2002 Fiona moved back to Cambridge to the lab of Prof. Jim Smith at the Gurdon Institute (www.gurdon.cam.ac.uk) where she continued to study the early embryonic development of Xenopus, During this time Fiona also initiated a project to study the transcriptional networks that underlie germ layer formation in the early embryo. This required establishing the technique of chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with genomic microarrays (ChIP-chip) in zebrafish embryos. The project was carried out in collaboration with an international team of scientists and Fiona was awarded an EMBO short-term Fellowship to develop the technique. Here Fiona also continued her interest in career mentoring, becoming a MentorNet mentor to PhD students, and in the public understanding of science, becoming a STEMNET Ambassador.
In 2007 Fiona secured an MRC Career Development Award and Lister Institute Research Prize and moved within Cambridge to the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience to establish her own lab, before moving the lab to the Randall Division at King’s College London in 2010.
She continues to mentor young scientists at school, undergraduate and postgraduate levels and remains a STEMNET Ambassador. She regularly takes part in public engagement activities, including speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2012 and school visits.