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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



My current work investigates the role of pressure and tissue mechanics in sculpting the embryonic central nervous system, using the chicken embryo as a model system. 

I studied Natural Sciences at UCL and earned my PhD at the University of Cambridge with Ben Steventon. During this time I investigated early embryo head-to-tail elongation using the zebrafish embryo as a model system, and found that anterior notochord cell expansion combined with addition of cells to the posterior notochord leads to force generation that facilitates body axis elongation.


Key publications: 

Anterior expansion and posterior addition to the notochord mechanically coordinate zebrafish embryo axis elongation

S.B.P. McLaren and B. Steventon

Development, 2021:


The Role of Mitotic Cell-Substrate Adhesion Re-modelling in Animal Cell Division

C. Dix*, H. K. Matthews*, M. Uroz, S. McLaren, L. Wolf, N. Heatley, Z. Win, P. Almada, R. Henriques, M. Boutros, X. Trepat, B. Baum

Developmental Cell, 2018:

Research Associate, Xiong Lab, Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute

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