UCL Institute of Ophthalmology



Professor John Greenwood is the Hugh Davson Professor of Biomedical Research and Head of the Department of Cell Biology at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London.

Prof Greenwood…

He obtained his PhD from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London following a study of transport systems of the blood-brain barrier. After a postdoctoral fellowship at King’s College London, he was awarded the Renee Hock Fellowship at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London to study the blood-retinal barrier in retinal inflammatory disease.

The role of the vascular barriers of the brain and retina remain a major focus of his research. In 1993 he was made Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Ophthalmology and in 2000 Full Professor. Professor Greenwood’s primary areas of research are the role of the blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers in inflammatory disease, pathogenic vascular remodelling of the retinal vasculature and the role of the retinal pigment epithelium in retinal disease.

In 2001 he was lead applicant on a successful Joint Infrastructure Fund award to build a new £9.2 million pound extension to the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (The Henry Wellcome Building for Translational Eye Research) which his laboratory occupies.

Dr Xiaomeng Wang

Dr Xiaomeng Wang obtained her BSc in China before moving to the UK to obtain an MSc (Hull University) and PhD in Human Genetics (Newcastle University) where she worked on generating Pax9 and Krt1-5 knockout mice using gene targeting technology. She then moved to Manchester University to take up her first postdoctoral position where her interest in the TGFβ family of proteins was established. During her tenure in the laboratory of Dr Hilary Ashe her work led to a first author Nature paper.

Her current research is focussing on a novel regulator of TGFβ signalling in endothelial cells that is responsible for shifting TGFβII receptor signalling from the ALK5 to the ALK1 pathway. The effect of this on retinal angiogenesis and vascular remodelling is being investigated.

Dr Sabu Abraham

Dr Sabu Abraham obtained his PhD from the University of Cologne working on a novel nuclear envelope protein called Enaptin/Nesprin in the laboratory of Prof Angelika Noegel. He moved to London to carry out postdoctoral studies on angiogenesis at the London Research Institute of Cancer Research UK (with Dr Ralf Adams) and later at Institute of Cancer Research (with Prof. Chris Marshall and Dr Georgia Mavria). He joined the Greenwood laboratory as a Senior Research Associate at the beginning of 2011 to study novel molecular players in pathological retinal angiogenesis such as Apelin and Lrg1.

Mr Georgiannakis Apostolos

Mr Georgiannakis Apostolos obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biomolecular Sciences from the University of Crete. He then undertook a Master’s degree programme in Reproductive Biology at the University of Edinburgh. His current PhD project (under the primary supervision of Professor Moss) is the study of terminal membrane attack complex formation on the retinal pigment epithelium, in order to delineate the cellular events that lead to the development of age-related macular disease (AMD).

Dr David Kellenberg

Dr David Kallenberg obtained his BSc at the University of Birmingham. He then commenced a part-time PhD in the lab of Professor Bennett at St George’s, University of London, where he investigated the CDKN2A locus and associated mechanisms of tumour suppression. During his time at St George’s he also managed the ‘Wellcome Trust Functional Genomics Cell Bank’. He is presently in the process of submitting his thesis. His current research is focussed on a novel regulator of TGFβ signalling in epithelial cells, concentrating on epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer progression.

Dr Ding Luo

Dr Ding Luo obtained her PhD from the University of Birmingham where she studied phosphoinositide signalling in S. Cerevisia. She then moved to Prof Gerard Nash’s group in Birmingham Medical School to work on the adhesive and effector functions of neutrophils after they migrate through endothelium, where she developed a useful gel model for studying the post-migratory phenotypes and functions of leukocytes in vitro. She joined the Greenwood laboratory to carry out research into ICAM-1 mediated signalling in endothelial cells and the role played in facilitating leukocyte migration during inflammation.

Dr Marie O'Conner

Dr Marie O’Connor obtained her PhD in Haematology from the University of Cambridge (Willem Ouwehand, supervisor) and continued her research at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where she demonstrated the suitability of a zebrafish thrombosis model for the functional characterization of novel platelet proteins. She then moved to London to investigate the biogenesis and function of Weibel-Palade bodies in the laboratory of Professor Dan Cutler, at the Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology. Marie joined the lab in October 2011 and is currently investigating molecular determinants of regional leukocyte traffic through the retinal vascular plexus.

Dr Sterren Davies

Dr Sterenn Davies is working on the development of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody targeting LRG1

Dr Vineeta Tripathi

Dr Vineeta Tripathi is working on the development of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody targeting LRG1

Ms Natasha Jeffs

Ms Natasha Jeffs is graduate PhD student undertaking research into the effect of LRG1 on the immune system.


Postdoctoral fellows:

Dr Jenny McKenzie
Dr Caroline Araiz
Dr Anna-Pia Papagiorgiou
Dr Roberta Martinelli
Dr Anthony Vugler
Dr Marcus Fruttiger
Dr Patric Turowski
Dr Rob Blabber
Dr Matt Gegg
Dr Philip Li
Dr Tracy Bailey
Dr Karen Mason
Dr Claire Amos
Dr Ignacio Romero
Dr DamianMcCrossan
Dr Katrina Radewicz
Dr Barry Wilbourn
Dr Jonathon Rousell
Dr Lu Yu
Dr Sarah Heasman


Mr Mark Evans
Ms Shazeem Hasan
Ms Rachel Harry
Ms Sep Amin
Mr Jigs Patel
Ms E-A Subileau
Mr Yadvinder Gill
Ms Xoa Ockrim
Mr David Wateridge
Ms Rafaella Spagnuolo
Ms Claire Walters
Mr Simon Bamforth
Ms Lesley Devine
Mr Yufei Wang
Nadine Schuerer
Tania Martin

Research technicians:

Ms Rebecca Crawford
Ms Naheed Kanuga
Mr Gareth Pryce
Matthew Swire