PhD, MPhil, MA, BSc
Professor of Developmental Biology
- Academic Lead for Public Engagement
Shankar completed a BSc in Nizam College in Hyderabad, India. He then joined the group of Frank Costantini in Columbia University, New York, where he received a PhD for work on the molecular genetics of kidney development. Following this, he moved to the NIMR in Mill Hill, London, where he worked as a HFSPO fellow in the groups of Rosa Beddington and Jim Smith on how the anterior-posterior axis is established. Here, he developed time-lapse microscopy approaches to study early post-implantation mouse embryos, with which he characterised the active migration of cells of the Anterior Visceral Endoderm, a process essential for the correct orientation of the anterior posterior axis of the embryo. In 2004 Shankar started his independent group at the University of Oxford as a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow and as Zeitlyn Fellow and Tutor in Medicine at Jesus College. In 2016 he became Professor of Developmental Biology.
The research in Shankar’s group focuses on two main areas. The first is to understand how the coordinated cell movements that shape the early mammalian embryo prior to and during gastrulation are controlled. The second is to understand how the heart forms and starts to beat. Shankar’s group takes a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to address these questions, using techniques spanning molecular genetics, lightsheet and confocal time-lapse imaging, single cell approaches, proteomics and embryo explant culture. Shankar is also passionate about science outreach. His group participates regularly in science festival, for which they have developed 3D printed models of developing embryos and a virtual reality based embryo and microscopy image volume explorer.
Further information can be found at Srinivas Research.