UCL Division of Biosciences


Stem Cells and Developmental Genetics stream

As a specialist pathway in the MRes Biosciences, the Stem Cells and Developmental Genetics stream offers a cutting-edge programme designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the principles and applications of stem cell biology and developmental genetics. This interdisciplinary programme integrates a year-long laboratory research, advanced coursework, and critical thinking to prepare students for careers in academia, industry, and healthcare. Most of our students go on to a PhD.

Stream Highlights

Hands-On Research: Students engage in hands-on research projects that last for 10 months, working alongside world-class faculty and researchers in state-of-the-art laboratories. These projects give students a similar experience to the first year of a PhD. Most supervisors are world leading researchers from the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, and recent project titles include:

  • Development of human multi-organoid platform for modelling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy disease
  • Generating human models of acrodysostosis
  • Neurogenesis cell asymmetry in C. elegans
  • Investigating the regulation of apical constriction in neuroepithelial cells during neural tube closure
  • Investigating the mechanisms that regulate V2a/V2b cell fate decisions in the zebrafish and human hindbrain
  • Investigating the impacts of N-terminal acetylation of proteins by N-terminal acetyltransferase C using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism
  • Regulating neuronal commitment in the Drosophila visual system
  • CRISPR-Cas9 editing of the DMD gene to model Duchenne Muscular dystrophy
  • Validation of the NGF-Sensitive translatome by Puro-PLA
  • Investigating the mechanical regulation of the segmentation clock using transgenic zebrafish and iPSC lines
  • Investigating oesophageal epithelial cell differentiation in development and disease
  • Investigating the invasion of glioblastoma using chemotaxis
  • Advancement of ASO-based treatment utilizing human iPSC-derived striated muscle models

This list is not exhaustive, and students can search for further examples of relevant research being carried out at UCL by browsing the webpages for the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.

Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Our programme offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers key topics in stem cell biology, developmental genetics, and related fields. The recommended elective taught module will in most instances be one of the following

Please Note: There may be access to modules other than those provided in the following lists. However, all optional modules must have the approval of the subject stream tutor.

Innovative Teaching Methods

We employ innovative teaching methods, including seminars, workshops, and guest lectures, to enhance the learning experience and foster critical thinking.

Collaborative Environment

UCL provides a vibrant and collaborative environment that encourages networking and interdisciplinary collaboration among students and researchers.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the MRes programme, applicants should have a strong background in a relevant field such as biology, genetics, or a related discipline. A bachelor's degree (or equivalent) is required, and applicants are selected based on academic achievements, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Career Opportunities
Graduates of the MRes Biosciences: Stem Cells and Developmental Genetics are well-equipped to pursue careers in academia, research institutions, biotechnology companies, and healthcare organizations. The programme provides a solid foundation for those seeking to further their education through a PhD or enter the workforce immediately, but most graduates of the programme go on to a PhD.

Contact Us

For inquiries about the Stem Cells and Developmental Genetics stream please contact one of the stream tutors Dr Richard Poole at r.poole@ucl.ac.uk or Professor Stephen Price at stephen.price@ucl.ac.uk. More general questions about admissions to the MRes should be direct towards biosciences_pgt_admissions@ucl.ac.uk.

Join us on a journey of discovery and innovation in the field of Stem Cells and Developmental Genetics at UCL.