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Research groups

Ian McCracken

MRC Transition Fellow

Following completing my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, I begun a PhD at the University of Edinburgh under supervision of Prof Andy Baker and Prof Chris Ponting as part of the MRC Precision Medicine Doctoral Training Programme. My PhD research focused on understanding the transcriptional control of endothelial cell development by applying single cell RNA sequencing technology to human pluripotent stem cell differentiation models. I was also able to characterise the transcriptional landscape of cardiac endothelial cells within the developing human heart. Alongside my PhD research I also completed the various integrated teaching components of my doctoral training program, providing me with experience in a variety of topics ranging from biological imaging to systems biology.

In 2020 I was awarded an MRC Transition Fellowship to conduct a research project within Dr Nicola Smart’s group at DPAG, University of Oxford following the completion of my PhD research. The aim of this project is to elucidate the mechanisms controlling endocardial plasticity during cardiovascular development by using a combination of in vivo and human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) based in vitro methods. Improved understanding of the regulators governing the transition of endocardial cells to other cardiac cell types, such as the coronary vascular endothelium, will likely be necessary to inform future therapeutic strategies aimed to promote repair within the adult heart damaged by cardiovascular disease.