University of Dundee

Dr Marios Stavridis

Pluripotent stem cell biology
Principal Investigator & Lecturer
Life and Biomedical Sciences Education (LABSe), School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee
Full Telephone: 
+44 (0) 1382 384329, int ext 84329


Our work focuses on the biochemical properties of pluripotent cells such as embryonic stem cells (mouse and human) and cells of the early embryo. Work in recent years has identified the Erk1/2 classical MAPK signalling pathway as the one required to initiate the differentiation of mouse and rat ES cells. These findings have led to the proposition that pluripotency is a “ground state” maintained extrinsically by protecting cells from differentiation signals (e.g. Fibroblast growth factor or Erk) or their consequences. However, human pluripotent cells may require this pathway for cell survival and/or proliferation suggesting that there may be fundamental differences between the control of differentiation of human and rodent early embryo cells.


We are interested in exploring these apparent differences and understanding their cause. For this we study the signalling pathways controlling self-renewal and differentiation of mouse and human pluripotent stem cell lines. Work is currently focussed on the mechanisms by which the Erk pathway initiates mouse ES cell differentiation, the role of O-GlcNAc signalling in controlling differentiation onset of pluripotent cells as well as the interaction between cellular metabolism and pluripotency.


BS11002*   Introduction to the Life Sciences: why go multicellular?
BS11003    Laboratory and Research Skills 1A
BS12002    Life: the underlying structures
BS12004    Laboratory and Research Skills 1D
BS21002    The Gene and the Cell
BS22002    Biological Sciences
BS31020    Experimental Cell Culture
BS32005    Cell & Developmental Biology
BS32022*  Human Morphogenesis and Embryonic Development
BS42007    Cancer Biology
BS42008*    Advanced Cell & Developmental Biology
MS10000   MBChB Year 1
                 MBChB SSC
                 MRes Cancer Biology
                 MSc Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception

(*I am Module Manager)

Honour Project Supervisor
BS41004                 Research Project: Biological Sciences
BS41007                 Research Project: Biomedical Sciences


Grasso, L., Suska, O., Davidson,  L., Gonatopoulos-Pournatzis, T., Williamson, R., Wasmus, L., Wiedlich, S., Peggie,  M., Stavridis, M. P., Cowling,  V. H. (2016) “mRNA cap methylation in pluripotency and differentiation.” Cell Reports 16(5):1352-1365.

Wongpaiboonwattana, W., and Stavridis, M. P. (2015). "Neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells in serum-free monolayer culture." J Vis Exp(99): e52823.

Speakman, C. M., Domke, T. C., Stavridis, M. P., et al. (2014). "Elevated O-GlcNAc levels activate epigenetically repressed genes and delay mouse ESC differentiation without affecting naive to primed cell transition." Stem Cells 32(10): 2605-2615.

Pickford, C. E., Holley, R. J., Stavridis, M. P., et al. (2011). "Specific glycosaminoglycans modulate neural specification of mouse embryonic stem cells." Stem Cells 29(4): 629-640.

Stavridis, M. P., Collins, B. J., et al. (2010). "Retinoic acid orchestrates fibroblast growth factor signalling to drive embryonic stem cell differentiation." Development 137(6): 881-890.