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Miss Catherine Roberts
R212, Developmental Biology of Birth Defects
UCL Institute of Child Health
30 Guilford St
Tel: 02072429789-42206
  • Research Associate
  • ICH Development Bio & Cancer Prog
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

I have just been awarded my first independent research grant as P.I. The project "The role of CYP26B1 regultion of retinoic acid in cardiac development and regeneration" is funded by the BHF for 3 years. I am based at the  Developmental Basis of Birth Defects group,  at the UCL-GOS Institute of Child Health.
 I achieved my PhD in 2013 on "The Role of Putative Tbx1 Target Genes in the Pathogenesis of the 22q11 Deletion Syndrome Phenotype" supervised by Prof. Peter Scambler, and subsequently continued working on the project for  a post-doc position. Prior to this I worked in the field of cardiac development as a research assistant.

Research Themes
Research Summary

 My research interests currently focus on the role of the CYP26 retinoic acid-metabolizing enzymes in cardiac development, repair and regeneration. Retinoic acid (RA) regulates gene patterning during these processes. The CYP26 enzymes convert RA to less active forms which can be excreted from the cell. In this way, expression of CYP26 enzymes controls the activity of RA. The Cyp26b1 gene appears to be important in multiple cardiac developmental events, including outflow tract development, cardiac valves and the formation of the coronary vasculature.I am currently investigating the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms involved and whether RA regulation of CYP26 enzymes may play a role in the response to cardiac injury.

Teaching Summary

I lecture on a number of MSc courses where knowledge of cardiovascular development is relevant. These include:UCL MRes Foundations of Biomedical Science, UCL MSc Cardiovascular Science, UCL MSc Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine and UCL MSc Foundations of Biomedical Science

I have supervised a number of MSc student dissertations within the Developmental Basis of Birth Defects group, for both the UCL MSc in Cardiovascular Sciences and the Imperial College MSc in Human Molecular Genetics. The majority have achieved distinctions. In addition, I have supervised BSc project and vacation students and and work experience students, helping them with their first experience of laboratory research.

Academic Background
2013 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Developmental Biology University College London
1988 BSc Bachelor of Science – Genetics and Cell Biology University of Manchester
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