UCL Institute of Ophthalmology



Research Projects

  • Regulation of angiogenesis and vascular permeability.
  • Regulation of neuronal development and regeneration.
  • Roles of neural crest cells in heart and great vessel formation.
  • Roles of macrophages in physiological and pathological angiogenesis.
  • Relationship of angiogenesis and neurogenesis.
  • Identifying vascular cell lineage origins.

Key achievements

  • VEGF forms gradients that guide angiogenesis in developing organs.
  • Macrophages help blood vessel sprouts to fuse into perfused circuits.
  • Dual NRP1 role in VEGF and matrix signalling for retina angiogenesis.
  • VEGF signals through NRP1 for proper neuronal migration and survival.
  • VEGF signals through NRP1 to guide axons for stereo vision.
  • Neural crest cells secrete VEGF to instruct arteriogenesis for jaw growth.
  • Neural crest cells secrete SEMA3C to instruct cardiac outflow tract septation into the base of the aorta and pulmonary artery.
  • Defective SEMA3A signalling compromises puberty.
  • Erythromyeloid progenitors give rise to endothelial cells for organ vascularisation.

Prizes and awards

  • Judah Folkman Award (2018, NAVBO)
  • Cheryll Tickle Medal (2018, BSDB)
  • Investigator Award (2016; Wellcome Trust)
  • Academic Role Model (2013; UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences)
  • Junior Investigator Award (2011; Wellcome Trust)
  • Career Development Award (2003-2007; MRC)
  • Werner-Risau-Prize (2003; German Society for Cell Biology)
  • Young Cell Biologist of the Year (1996; British Society for Cell Biology)

Protocols and resources


Our lab has deposited plasmids at Addgene for distribution to the research community. Addgene is a non-profit plasmid repository dedicated to improving life science research.


UCL logo…
James Bainbridge, Steve Wilson
University of Aberdeen logo…
Lynda Erskine

Anna Cariboni, Alessandro Fantin

Yale University logo2…
Anne Eichmann, Michael Simons
UniSA logo…
Quenten Schwarz




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