Jean-Paul Vincent

Epithelial Cell Interactions Laboratory

We aim to understand how cells coordinate patterning, growth and apoptosis within a tissue. We investigate how signalling molecules organise tissues, how malfunctioning cells are recognised and eliminated and how pro-growth signals are integrated to ensure 'just-right' tissue size. We are particularly interested in the contribution of cell-cell signaling and mechanical influences in these processes.

Our animal model of choice is the fruit fly Drosophila. We also make use of cells in culture and are developing one mouse model to study the role of Wnt signaling in tissue homeostasis. Although our research is not applied, we hope that it will help identify molecules and processes that are relevant to human disease (e.g. cancer or neurodegeneration).

Our general approach involves merging the power of genome engineering with a variety of techniques borrowed from cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics.


Above: Wild type and schnurri mutant embryos imaged by SPIM (single plane illumination microscopy) and viewed from 8 angles during germband extension and dorsal closure. In schnurri mutant , dorsal closure fails and the dorsal epidermis degenerates.


Figure 1

Figure 1. a) CRISPR-mediated insertion of a DNA fragment encoding an HA tag in the coding region of Notum. b) Imaginal discs from a larva carrying this genetic modification. Staining with anti-HA shows expression on either side of the dorso-ventral boundary and spreading of Notum throughout most of the disc.

Selected publications

Kakugawa, S. , Langton, P.F. , Zebisch, M@, Howell, S., Chang, T.H., Liu, Y., Feizi, T., Bineva, G., O'Reilly, N., Snijder, A., Jones, Y. @, Vincent, J.P.@ (2015) Notum deacylates Wnt to suppress signalling activity. Nature, in press.
Equivalent first authors; @ Co-corresponding authors)

Beira J.V., Springhorn A., Gunther S., Hufnagel L., Pyrowolakis G., Vincent J.P. (2014) The Dpp/TGFβ-Dependent Corepressor Schnurri Protects Epithelial Cells from JNK-Induced Apoptosis in Drosophila Embryos. Dev Cell. 31, 240-247. PubMed PMID: 25307481

Alexandre C., Baena-Lopez L.A., and Vincent J.P. (2014) Patterning and growth control by membrane-tethered Wingless. Nature, 505, 180-185 Pubmed

Jean-Paul Vincent
+44 (0)20 379 62174

  • Qualifications and history
  • 1982: Ph.D. in Biophysics, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 1987: Post doctoral fellow, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • 1993: Group Leader, Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
  • 1997: Group Leader, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
  • 2015: Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London