Christos Kalaitzis

PhD student

Christos obtained a BSc (Hons) in Genetics from the University of Sussex in 2019. He completed an MSc in Human Molecular Genetics at Imperial College London in 2020, where his final project in the Lovell-Badge lab at the Francis Crick Institute focused on the transcription factor FOXL2 in craniofacial development and adult pituitary hormonal lineage specification.

Staying at the Crick, Christos then worked as a Laboratory Research Officer with the Briscoe lab, where he studied the molecular mechanisms of how cis regulatory elements work to direct gene expression in the developing spinal cord. 

In 2022, Christos joined the Metzis lab in collaboration with Di Giovanni and Vaquerizas labs at Imperial College London as a SAMURII PhD student, focusing on spinal cord injury repair mechanisms.


Irène Amblard

Research Associate

Irène graduated from École Polytechnique (Paris, France), followed by a PhD in cell biology at Sorbonne Université. Under the supervision of Alain Joliot at the Collège de France, she developed expertise in protein trafficking and cell signalling. Her work focused on the mechanisms controlling protein trafficking, and how these events impact the establishment of signalling gradients in developing tissues. See some of her work highlighted in the Journal of Cell Science.

Irène joined the Metzis Lab in February 2021 to study how regulatory elements impact transcription factor dynamics and cell identity during development.


Julia Needham

PhD student

Julia joined the Metzis Lab at Imperial College London as a PhD student in 2020. She obtained a BSc in Biology from the the University of Bristol in 2019. She completed an MPhil in Genetics at the University of Cambridge in the Ferguson-Smith Lab, studying the epigenetic regulation of the mammary gland. She is funded by the President’s PhD Scholarship.

Julia is examining how distinct neural cell types emerge at different positions in the nervous system and the molecular mechanisms that underpin this process.


Vicki Metzis

Lab head

Vicki Metzis is a developmental biologist. She obtained her PhD from the University of Queensland, working with Carol Wicking at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience in Brisbane. Here, she developed an interest in mouse genetics and in vitro approaches to study gene regulatory networks.

Vicki then undertook postdoctoral training in the lab of James Briscoe at the Francis Crick Institute, where she developed expertise in the use of embryonic stem cells to model cell fate decisions, combining experimental and computational approaches.

In 2020, Vicki moved to Imperial College London to establish her own research group, which studies the molecular mechanisms that control cell identity in the developing nervous system. Vicki is a Sir Henry Dale Fellow supported by Wellcome and The Royal Society.


Lab alumni

Karlie Zhang

MSc student

Karlie graduated from Tianjin Medical University (Tianjin, China) in 2017, followed by a resident training program in Tianjin General Hospital. She is now an MSc student in the Reproductive and Developmental Biology Programme at Imperial College London, and has joined the lab for her project focusing on the expression and function of CDX2 during mouse development. She’s interested in reproductive tract inflammation, fertility-sparing treatment in Gynecology Oncology, as well as embryo development. 


Jihye Song

BSc student

Jihye is studying a BSc in Medical Biosciences at Imperial College London.

Jihye joined the Metzis Lab during July-September 2022 to develop experience in genome engineering approaches and their application to embryonic stem cells. She has a broad range of interests spanning regenerative medicine, cell fate decisions, organogenesis and immunology.


Rufus Morgan

BSc student

Rufus has an interest in developmental biology and completed a “hybrid” summer project in the lab during his BSc.

Rufus joined the Metzis Lab during July-September 2021 to examine the role of Hox genes in spinal cord development (read more about his experiences on the node). His project was supported by the British Society for Developmental Biology Gurdon / Company of Biologists Studentship scheme. Rufus is currently completing his Medical Biosciences BSc at Imperial College London supported by an Imperial Presidents scholarship.


Neda Mousavy

Research Associate

Neda obtained her BSc in Biology from Iran. She then moved to London where she undertook an MSc in Molecular Medicine at UCL. She continued her scientific career working as a Research Assistant at the UCL-Institute of Child Health and at the National Institute for Medical Research (now part of The Francis Crick Institute). During these years she developed expertise in neural tube and pituitary gland development, working with James Briscoe and Juan Pedro Martinez-Barbera. She was supported by a Diabetes UK grant to pursue her PhD at Imperial College London. Her work focused on the roles of two GWAS genes linked to type 2 diabetes in the control of glucose homeostasis. Neda joined the Metzis Lab as a Research Associate working on neuroaxis development. She is now based at Sixfold Bioscience, at our neighbouring White City Campus.



If you are interested in joining the Development and Transcriptional Control group, located at the  London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) at Imperial College London, contact us to discuss your interests and explore opportunities to join our team!

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Email enquiries are welcome from applicants wishing to apply for postdoctoral fellowship opportunities related to the group’s core interests.

Applicants are encouraged to check the deadlines for submission and eligibility criteria for further details prior to getting in touch.

President’s PhD Scholarship at Imperial College London

These positions suit applicants interested in developing expertise in stem cell technologies, molecular biology and mouse genetics. For further details on the PhD programme, including entry requirements and application due dates, see below:

MRC DTP Studentships at Imperial College London

Enquiries are currently welcome from students wishing to apply to the MRC DTP program at Imperial College London. This program would suit applicants wishing to pursue a cutting edge project spanning development, stem cells and regenerative medicine. For further details on the programme, including entry requirements and due dates, see below:

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