Greg Findlay's Research Group

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Embryonic Stem Cell Signalling in Health and Disease

Our lab applies cutting-edge chemical, genetic, proteomic and transcriptomic technologies to investigate signalling mechanisms that regulate pluripotent stem cell biology. Using these approaches, we have uncovered a series of exciting new pluripotent stem cell signalling pathways, providing key insights into regulation of stem cell maintenance, pluripotency and differentiation. The current aim of this project is to identify the mechanisms by which these pathways function to control pluripotent stem cell biology. Recently, we have begun exploring how disruptions to stem cell signalling networks lead to human developmental disorders, particularly intellectual disability. A major goal of this project is to pinpoint novel signalling components that are mutated in intellectual disability syndromes, using stem cell models to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underpinning development of these disorders in patients.

It matters to us that we have the fullest possible representation of the various groups that make up our society. It is our belief that the more diverse we are, the greater the diversity of opinions and creativity we’ll have to draw on, which in turns enriches our science. We’re a diverse team with multiple ethnicities, religions and nationalities represented. We welcome applications from students and postdocs in our team of all races, beliefs, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, or disability status. We’re a family-friendly lab, open to flexible working for people with children.

Join Us!
The team is looking for talented, motivated, switched-on, diverse, friendly people to join us. We have several positions available; informal enquiries can be made by emailing Greg Findlay (

From left to right: Carmen Espejo-Serrano, Greg Findlay, Sophie Rappich, Elisenda Raga-Gil, Paula Czapnik, Lizzy Hogg, Zedeng Yang, Catriona Aitken
From left to right: Carmen Espejo-Serrano, Greg Findlay, Sophie Rappich, Elisenda Raga-Gil, Paula Czapnik, Lizzy Hogg, Zedeng Yang, Catriona Aitken


Sophie Rappich | PhD Student
Catriona Aitken | Research Assistant
Carmen Espejo Serrano | Research Assistant
Paulina Czapnik | PhD Student
Elizabeth Hogg | Postdoctoral Researcher
Zedeng Yang | PhD Student

Selected Publications

  • Bustos, F., & Findlay, G. M (2023) Therapeutic validation and targeting of signalling networks that are dysregulated in intellectual disability FEBS Journal 290 1454-1460 doi:10.1111/febs.16411 PMID: 35212144
  • Segarra Fas, A., Espejo Serrano, C., Bustos, F., Zhou, H., Wang, F., Toth, R., Macartney, T., Bach, I., Nardocci, G., & Findlay, G (2022) An RNF12-USP26 amplification loop drives germ cell specification and is disrupted by disease-associated mutations Science Signalling 15 doi:10.1126/scisignal.abm5995 PMID: 35857630
  • Bustos F, Mathur S, Espejo-Serrano C, Toth R, Hastie CJ, Virdee S, Findlay GM. (2022) Activity-based probe profiling of RNF12 E3 ubiquitin ligase function in Tonne-Kalscheuer syndrome Life Sciences Alliance 5 e202101248. doi:10.26508/lsa.202101248 PMID: 35764390
  • Cornejo, F., Cortés, B. I., Findlay, G. M., & Cancino, G. I (2021) LAR Receptor Tyrosine Phosphatase Family in Healthy and Diseased Brain Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 9 659951 doi:10.3389/fcell.2021.659951 PMID: 34966732
  • Brown HA, Williams CAC, Zhou H, Rios-Szwed D, Fernandez-Alonso R, Mansoor S, McMulkin L, Toth R, Gourlay R, Peltier J, Dieguez-Martinez N, Trost M, Lizcano JM, Stavridis MP, Findlay GM (2021) An ERK5-KLF2 signalling module regulates early embryonic gene expression and telomere rejuvenation in stem cells Biochemical Journal 478 4119-4136 doi:10.1042/BCJ20210646 PMID: 34780645
  • Francisco Bustos, Carmen Espejo-Serrano, Anna Segarra-Fas, Alison J. Eaton, Kristin D. Kernohan, Meredith J. Wilson, Lisa G. Riley, Greg M. Findlay (2021) A novel RLIM/RNF12 variant disrupts protein stability and function to cause severe Tonne-Kalscheuer syndrome Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-021-88911-3 PMID: 33953269
  • Mullin NP, Varghese J, Colby D, Richardson JM, Findlay GM, Chambers I (2020) Phosphorylation of NANOG by casein kinase I regulates embryonic stem cell self-renewal FEBS Letters PMID: 33107035
  • Bustos F, Segarra-Fas A, Nardocci G, Cassidy A, Antico O, Davidson L, Brandenburg L, Macartney TJ, Toth R, Hastie CJ, Moran J, Gourlay R, Varghese J, Soares RF, Montecino M, Findlay GM (2020) Functional Diversification of SRSF Protein Kinase to Control Ubiquitin-Dependent Neurodevelopmental Signaling Developmental Cell 55 1-19 PMID: 33080171
  • Fernandez-Alonso, R., Bustos, F., Budzyk, M., Helbig, A., Hukelmann, J., Lamond, A., Petsalaki, E. and Findlay, G.M. (2020) Phosphoproteomics Identifies a Bimodal EPHA2 Receptor Switch that Promotes Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Nature Communications 11 1357 PMID: 32170114
  • Heap, RE, Segarra Fas, A, Blain, AP, Findlay, G & Trost, M (2019) Profiling embryonic stem cell differentiation by MALDI TOF mass spectrometry: development of a reproducible and robust sample preparation workflow Analyst 144 6371-6381 PMID: 31566633
  • Bustos F, Segarra-Fas A, Chaugule VK, Brandenburg L, Branigan E, Toth R, Macartney T, Knebel A, Hay RT, Walden H, Findlay GM (2018) RNF12 X-Linked Intellectual Disability Mutations Disrupt E3 Ligase Activity and Neural Differentiation. Cell Rep 23 1599-1611 PMID: 29742418
  • Fernandez-Alonso R, Davidson L, Hukelmann J, Zengerle M, Prescott AR, Lamond A, Ciulli A, Sapkota GP, Findlay GM. (2017) Brd4-Brd2 isoform switching coordinates pluripotent exit and Smad2-dependent lineage specification EMBO Rep 18(7) 1108-1122 PMID: 28588073
  • Fernandez-Alonso, R., Bustos, F., Williams, C.A.C. and Findlay, G.M. (2017) Protein Kinases in Pluripotency – Beyond the Usual Suspects. J Mol Biol. 42 1504-1520 PMID: 28456524
  • Williams, C.A.C., Gray, N.S. and Findlay, G.M. (2017) A simple method to identify novel pluripotency kinases by high-throughput screening. J Vis Exp. 123 55515 PMID: 28570543
  • Williams, C. A. Fernandez-Alonso, R. Wang, J. Toth, R. Gray, N. S. Findlay, G. M.
    (2016) Erk5 Is a Key Regulator of Naive-Primed Transition and Embryonic Stem Cell Identity Cell Rep 16 1820-8 PMID: 27498864