I am interested in understanding how stem cells differentiate into functional cell types in the body and how we can use this information to generate useful cell types in a culture dish. We know that there is a great deal of variability between individual cells in the way they respond to differentiation cues, but we don't understand why this is. I am exploring the idea that changes in cell adhesion influence the way that cells integrate information from their environment. The hope is that understanding this level of regulation will help to resolve the apparent unpredictability of the differentiation response.
Twin mums have to learn very quickly how to keep going no matter how tough things get - a very handy skill in a research career! Having two small children at home does limit my time in the lab, but this has brought the benefit of forcing me to give up on my unfortunate tendency to micromanage my group's projects. Having to give my students and postdocs the freedom to make their own mistakes is one of the things that has allowed them to flourish into the wonderful innovative and self-driven scientists that they all are!