Personal profile


I did my degree and PhD in Biochemistry at King’s College London, where I first worked on Xenopus. I went on to post-doc fellowships working on gene regulation at CRUK and the Developmental Biology Research Centre, both in London. From there I moved to Portsmouth setting up an independent lab working on gene regulation in Xenopus and in 2006 led the inception of the European Xenopus Resource Centre funded by the Wellcome Trust. Having Portsmouth as a hub for the latest developmental biology research makes it a very exciting place for me to study and, after doing my five year turn as head of school, I am currently enjoying working hands on alongside my team in the lab.

Alongside my Xenopus work I enjoy collaborating with the Marine Biologists in Portsmouth to support their use of the latest molecular genetics technologies in fascinating applied research projects.

For more information about my research please visit my lab page.

Research Interests

My team researches gene regulation in the early development of the Xenopus (clawed frog) embryo. This includes transcription factor regulation (Brzostowski et al, 2000, Cazanove et al 2008) and epigenetic mechanisms (Steer et al 2003, Abu-Daya et al, 2005). Currently we are performing a systematic analysis of the function and control of the variant histones in early development in collaboration with Dr Fiona Myers. Half of MJG’s time is dedicated to running the European Xenopus Resource Centre (EXRC), in this context developing improved techniques for working with Xenopus (Love et al 2012) and enhancing frog welfare (Abu-Daya et al 2012).

  • Transcription factor activity control in the early embryo
  • dsRBD containing proteins
  • Chromatin regulation in the early embryo
  • The genetics of wood digestion in the marine environment
  • Developing new tools for the Xenopus model

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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