LMCB - Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology

Alison Lloyd's picture
LMCB Director
LMCB Group Leader, UCL Professor of Cell Biology
+44 (0)20 7679 2240
LMCB Room 1.01b
Cell biogenesis and tissue regeneration

Research synopsis

A regenerative tissue must be able to switch between different states; a stable, functional tissue that remains more or less the same for the lifespan of the animal and a repairing tissue that aims to return to the homeostatic state. Peripheral nerve is such a tissue; highly quiescent and architecturally stable during adulthood, it retains remarkable regenerative capabilities.
Critical to this process is the Schwann cell, the major glial cell of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). In the adult, Schwann cells are normally quiescent and associated with axons, however, in response to injury, these cells undergo a dramatic change in cell-state to a more progenitor-like state and these cells orchestrate the multicellular response required for nerve regeneration.
Using a combination of powerful in vitro and in vivo models, advanced imaging technologies and molecular analyses, our lab explores fundamental questions associated with these changes in cell state and how addressing these questions provide insight into pathologies such as cancer, neuropathies and pain. These questions include: How is a stable adult tissue established and maintained? How does a tissue switch to a regenerative state following injury and then return to the homeostatic state? How are regenerative processes such as proliferation, inflammation, cell biogenesis and cell migration co-opted during tumourigenesis?
Lloyd lab research imageLloyd lab research image

Selected publications

Malong L, et al (2023). Characterization of the structure and control of the blood-nerve barrier identifies avenues for therapeutic delivery. Dev Cell, 58(3):174-191.e8, 26 Jan 2023

Stierli S, et al (2019). Schwann cell plasticity-roles in tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and disease. Glia, 67(11):2203-2215, 19 Jun 2019

Stierli S, et al (2018). The regulation of the homeostasis and regeneration of peripheral nerve is distinct from the CNS and independent of a stem cell population. Development 145, dev170316

Rosenberg NH, et al (2018). HDAC3 Regulates the Transition to the Homeostatic Myelinating Schwann Cell State. Cell Reports 25 (10) 2755-2765

Cattin AL and Lloyd AC (2016). The multicellular complexity of peripheral nerve regeneration. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 39:38-46

Cattin AL, et al (2015). Macrophage-Induced Blood Vessels Guide Schwann Cell-Mediated Regeneration of Peripheral Nerves. Cell 162(5):1127-39

Lloyd AC (2013). The Regulation of Cell Size. Cell 154(6) 1194-1205



Cancer Research UK
Medical Research Council
Rosetrees Foundation
Worldwide Cancer Research

Research themes

Tissue homeostasis
Tissue regeneration
Cancer biology
Peripheral nerve biology
Cell biogenesis
Heterotypic and homotypic cell-cell interactions
Cell size control


Light microscopy
3D imaging
Translational Research
Super-resolution microscopy
Electron Microscopy
In vivo models
Primary culture models


Elizabeth Harford-Wright (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Luke Noon (Research Fellow)
Stella Kouloulia (Research Fellow)
Guillem Modol Caballero (Research Fellow)
Alex Power (PhD Student)
Giulia Casal (PhD Student)
Emma Lloyd (PhD Student)


Sophie Acton (LMCB, UK)
Antonella Riccio (LMCB, UK)

Robin Ketteler (LMCB, UK)

Bill Richardson (UCL, UK)

Simona Parrinello (UCL, UK)
Adrienne Flanagan (UCL, UK)
Tariq Enver (UCL, UK)

Clare Bennett (UCL, UK)
David Parkinson (Plymouth, UK)
Ricardo Henriques (IGC, Portugal)