Andrea Münsterberg


  • 0.16 Biology

Personal profile

Administrative Posts

  • NRPDTP board representative
  • Director of Research (2014 - 2017)
  • Theme Leader for Cells and Tissues (2010-2013)
  • Organizer CDB Seminars (2010 - 2015)
  • Member of Studentship selection panel (2006-2010)
  • Liaison Officer for international students (ERASMUS exchange programme with Germany)


  • Since 2010 Professor of Developmental Biology
  • Reader in Developmental Biology, University of East Anglia, (2006 – 2010)
  • Senior Lecturer in Developmental Biology, University of East Anglia (2001-2006)
  • Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow, University of Dundee (1997-2001)
  • Lecturer and Principal Investigator, University of Dundee (1996-1997)
  • MDA Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA (1994-1996)
  • HFSPO Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA (1992-1994)
  • Ph.D. - National Institute for Medical Research, MRC, Mill Hill, London (1992)
  • German Diploma - Biology, University of Heidelberg (1988)



Key Research Interests

My group investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie embryonic development. We use the chick embryo as a vertebrate model organism and are particularly interested in the signals that control cell fate decisions. For example, developing somites give rise to skeletal muscle, cartilage, bone and tendon. How are these different cell types specified? in the developing heart we have characterized the origin and migration of cells that contribute to different parrts of this important tissue. The mechanistic insights obtained do not only increase our understanding of early embryo development, but also impact areas such as stem cell science and regenerative medicine. 


Current Research Projects 

  • Signalling pathways and cytoskeletal dynamics in somite patterning and myogenesis
  • The origin and migration of cardiac progenitor cells
  • MicroRNA function in skeletal muscle differentiation


Life in our research group

The group works in a well-equipped laboratory setting and benefits from shared facilities, in particular the Henry Wellcome Bioimaging lab and Taqman for quantitative PCR. Chick embryos are easy to manipulate using classical and molecular approaches. We are a dynamic group of international students and post-docs and have joint lab-meetings with the Wheeler lab. We participate in the weekly Cell and Developmental Biology seminar series and people from the lab regularly contribute to international conferences in Europe, Asia or North America by giving poster presentations or talks.

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Postdocs & Fellows

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations. Possible funding routes include applying for fellowships, e.g. EU Marie Curie fellowships, with me acting as sponsor, or grant applications with you as a named postdoc.

Areas of Expertise

Developmental biology of vertebrates; microRNAs; skeletal muscle and heart development.

Teaching Interests

  • Skills for Biologists (4008Y)
  • Introduction to Biomedicine (4005Y)
  • Genetics (5009A)
  • Clinical Genetics (5011A)
  • Science communication
  • Molecular and Cellular Principles of Development (6012A)
  • Undergraduate final year Research Projects (6019Y)
  • Frontiers of Molecular Medicine (M201)

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or