top of page
Lab members

Anna Franz

Principal Investigator


Anna is a group leader at the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at UCL. She received her PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of Cambridge, working with Prof. Jordan Raff, where she studied centriole duplication. She then investigated the roles of motile fat body cells in wound healing with Prof. Paul Martin and Prof. Will Wood at the University of Bristol.  She was awarded a Royal Society/Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Research Fellowship to establish her own lab at UCL in May 2019.  


Cyril Andrieu


I obtained my PhD in developmental biology under the mentoring of Eric Theveneau in Toulouse. During my PhD, my research focused on the functions  of MMPs during epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cell migration in the chick neural crest. Having always been interested in cell migration, I now want to understand the intracellular processes underlying fat body cell motility and identify the environmental signals which control cell migration during development and pathologic events




Ioanna Pitsidianaki 

PhD student

I am a biologist with a strong interest in fundamental research and in particular cell and developmental biology. I acquired my Masters in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine at the University of Crete, working on transcriptional regulation of Hey, a Notch target gene. I then joined the Campbell lab at the University of Sheffield as a research assistant where I studied collective cell migration in the developing Drosophila embryo. As a PhD student in the Franz lab I’m now studying the roles of fat body cells in two highly correlated phenomena, cancer and wound healing.

Jameela Almasoud

PhD student

I am a geneticist with a great passion for research. I’ve received my Diploma from University College Dublin in Ireland, where I majored in genetics but have as well taken neuroscience and microbiology courses. I’ve published my first paper on microbiology in the 3rd year of my undergraduate study. I’ve done my thesis project on neurogenetics, where I investigated a new in vivo model of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, using Drosophila melanogaster. As a PhD student in the Franz lab, I’m studying the mechanism that mediates the process of fat body remodeling.  

This could be you!

Are you interested in joining our lab? 

If you're interested in joining as a postdoc, please contact Anna Franz directly (along with your CV and cover letter describing your research interests). 

If you would  like to join us as a PhD student, there are the following PhD programs that you could apply for and potentially do a PhD in our lab:

UCL-Birkbeck MRC DTP



Previous lab members

Liam Shipsey 

BSc student

I’m a 3rd year Medical Student at UCL currently intercalating a degree in Physiology which I hope will help me to develop a deeper understanding of biological processes and their links to health. This year I am looking forward to getting my first experience of research doing a project studying the regulation of actin in the migration of Fat Body Cells in Anna’s Lab.  

Barizah Hanim  

Masters student

I am a graduate student in MSc Biomedical science at UCL currently completing my Masters research project in the Franz lab.


Zehra Ali-Khan


I am a biomedical sciences student at UCL. I am particularly interested in human disease and the immune response and understand that cellular processes have great importance in maintaining healthy bodily function. I'm currently doing a lab project in Anna's lab to study fat body cell remodelling.



bottom of page