Valerie Wilson

Professor of Early Embryo Development


Val studied for her PhD in Dr Martin Evans' lab in Cambridge from 1987-1991 on ES cell genetic manipulation and transgenesis. She then joined Rosa Beddington's lab to work on postimplantation mouse embryos, first in the Centre for Genome Research, Edinburgh from 1991-1992 and then in the National Institute for Medical Research from 1992-1996, Mill Hill, London. During this time she investigated the role of T(brachyury) in mouse anteroposterior axial elongation, using chimeras created by combining mutant ES cell lines and wild type blastocysts. She moved to Edinburgh in 1996 to set up her own lab to try and understand more fully the mechanisms of axis elongation, first as an MRC Career Development Fellow in the Molecular Medicine Centre, then at the Institute for Stem Cell Research, and most recently in the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, after obtaining a university position.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

Aaron Alonso Torrens (PhD Student)

Emma Shaw (PhD Student)

Research summary

Early embryo development

Val Wilson’s group studies the embryonic progenitors for the central nervous system, skeleton and muscles. This involves studying how and when they become a separate population of cells as well as how they are maintained and eventually eliminated.

Aims and areas of interest

Our primary objective is to understand how progenitors for the mouse anteroposterior axis are maintained over a relatively long period- about a third of mouse gestation- how they generate the axis, and how the length of the axis is regulated. In effect: we want to know why do mice have long tails (but not very, very long tails)?

Research activities

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