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Prof Maria Balda
11-43 Bath street
London EC1
  • Reader in Cell Biology
  • Inst Ophthalmology - Cell Biology
  • Institute of Ophthalmology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Research Summary
Epithelial and endothelial cells form selective barriers between compartments of different composition. To perform this function, they have a specialised intercellular junctional complex (tight and adherens junctions, desmosomes and gap junctions). Assembly and disassembly of the junctional complex is tightly regulated during physiological conditions, but is disturbed in pathological situations such as wounds, inflammation, neovascularisation or transformation. Our research interest is to understand the molecular mechanisms through which tight junctions regulate paracellular permeability, cell proliferation and gene expression as well as to find out whether and how the tight junction signalling pathways interact with related signalling pathways triggered by cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Our findings will be used not only to understand physiologically complex processes ranging from tubulogenesis of epithelial and endothelial cells to the development of the eye but also to develop therapeutic tools to reverse pathological conditions such as tumorigenesis and proliferative or degenerative eye diseases.
Teaching Summary
2002-2003 Learning and Teaching in High Education Programme. Module I: Portfolio "Exploring Learning".Departement of Education and Professional Development. UCL.
2002-2004  Participation in the course on Molecular Basis of Disease Pathway. Module on Cell adhesion in health anddisease. Lecture on Tight junctions in health and disease.Department of Biology. Imperial College. London.UK
2004-2005 Learning and Teaching in HighEducation Programme. Module II: Portfolio "Towards the develop of thescientist mind". Department of Education and Professional Development.UCL. Certificate.
        2006  Participation in the course on Cytoskeleton and cell adhesion, LMCB, UCL
2009          Participation in the Master in Science course on Ocular Cell Biology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

Academic Background
1990 PhD Doctor of Philosophy Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
1982 Ba.BiomedScH Bachelor Biomedical Science (Honours) Universidad de Buenos Aires
02-04 CLTHE_1 Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE Part 1 University College London
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