School of Life Sciences
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Marios Georgiou

Assistant Professor in Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



2002: PhD in Developmental Neurobiology, King's College, London. 2003: awarded an EMBO long-term fellowship to work at the IMP in Vienna. 2004: post-doctoral fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, UCL.

Marios joined the University of Nottingham in December 2010 as a Lecturer in Cell Biology. He was awarded a Cancer Research UK Career Establishment Award in 2011.

Expertise Summary

Dr Marios Georgiou is a Lecturer in Cell Biology at the School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham.

Dr Georgiou is a Cancer Research UK Career Establishment Award Fellow:

Dr Georgiou is a member of Cancer Research Nottingham:

Teaching Summary

Dr Georgiou is module convenor for the following modules:

C74CAN Biochemistry of Cancer

C74A38 Advanced Biochemistry of Cancer

And contributes to the following modules:

C73MDT Molecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics (Gene Therapy)

C72BS2 Biochemical Skills 2

C73Y03 Data Analysis

Research Summary

During animal development, individual cells change their shape in response to an unfolding morphogenetic program. This process culminates in the generation of hundreds of terminally differentiated… read more

Selected Publications

Applications are invited from exceptional graduates and post-doctoral researchers with an interest in cell morphogenesis and cancer biology.

Candidates interested in joining our lab to work in these research areas can contact Dr Georgiou by sending an e-mail to


We are offering an exciting PhD project to start in 2017, which will be funded by the BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP). The project is a collaboration between the Georgiou and Rahman labs and is entitled: Cell morphogenesis: The regulation of cell shape and behaviour in multiple cell types

For more information see:

The BBSRC DTP provides FOUR years funding as well as a tailored training programme for each student.

Additionally, in the third year of your PhD you will be able to undertake a 3-month Professional Internship or 'PIP'. This internship is not directly related to the PhD project, but is designed to offer you experience in one of a number of career sectors, including: teaching, policy-making, media, industry etc.


Other positions are also available to self-funded applicants.


Please be aware that applications for PhD or post-doc funding should be made at least 9 months before desired starting date.

Funding for PhDs:

For advice on funding for prospective post-graduate students see:

There are a number of international studentships available to international applicants, see:

Funding for Post-docs:

Wellcome Trust for post-docs with less than 2 years post-doctoral experience:

EMBO fellowships:

EU fellowships:

Human Frontier Science Program fellowships:

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship:

Wellcome Career Development Fellowships:

MRC Career Development Award:

BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship:

Royal Society University Research Fellowship:

CRUK Career Development Fellowship:

Current Research

During animal development, individual cells change their shape in response to an unfolding morphogenetic program. This process culminates in the generation of hundreds of terminally differentiated cell types with distinct forms and functions. The developmental mechanisms behind the generation of these distinct morphologies are still largely unknown. My interest lies in studying the process of cell morphogenesis to give insights into cell function, tissue homeostasis and disease.

The lab uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. With Drosophila it is possible to use sophisticated genetic techniques to label and manipulate individual cells within a living tissue. Combined with state-of-the-art cell biology it is possible to image, in real time, in a living organism, cell morphology and behaviour in high resolution. Our aim is to use this system to study cell morphogenesis and cancer biology.

Cell morphogenesis: Using this in vivo system we can study diverse cell types and cell shapes, from simple columnar epithelial cells to the neurons of the central nervous system, which possess morphologies of astounding complexity. We aim to identify the genes involved in generating this vast array of distinct morphologies.

Cancer biology: Additionally, by focusing on epithelial sheets of cells, we can identify the fundamental cell biological processes that orchestrate cell and tissue morphogenesis during normal development and under conditions that mimic those of tumour development. With funding from Cancer Research UK, we are now trying to identify genes that may promote or inhibit tumour progression in this system.

Research at the lab therefore lies at an interface between cell, developmental and cancer biology, with recent papers addressing a number of fundamental processes such as the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, cell polarity, cell morphology, cell adhesion, endocytosis, trafficking, tissue architecture and cell signalling.

Recent published work has so far led to a further understanding of: (i) the maintenance of junction integrity: this work has identified a critical role for Cdc42-aPKC-Par6 in maintaining Adherens Junction integrity by regulating the endocytosis of junctional material (Georgiou et al., 2008). (ii) how apical polarity proteins cooperate with Rho-GTPases to control cell morphology and dynamic protrusion formation: here we have shown how this cooperation is required to form and position distinct classes of dynamic protrusion along an epithelial cell's apical-basal axis. This work also suggests that, in a three-dimensional living tissue, it is the level of Rac activity that determines protrusion form, with high levels of Rac forming filopodia and lower levels forming lamellipodia (Georgiou and Baum, 2010). (iii) how cell shape and dynamic protrusions function to regulate patterning in the developing fly: in this study we found that dynamic protrusions are required to propagate Delta-Notch signalling to correctly space progenitor cells and subsequent mechanosensory organs within an epithelium (Cohen, Georgiou et al., 2010).

Lab members:

Dr Africa Couto. Research interests: The genetic basis of tumour progression. The regulation of protrusion morphology.

Dr Natalie Mack. Research interests: The genetic basis of tumour progression. The role of polarity proteins in regulating epithelial cell shape.

Brenda Canales Coutino, PhD student. Research interests: Tumour progression and genomic instability.

Alexandra Doina Rusu, PhD Student. Research interests: Cancer cell invasion.

Clare Martin, PhD Student. Research interests: miRNAs in the nervous system.

Louisa Taylor, MRes student. Research interests: Stem cell identity in the gut.

Zsuzsa Markus, lab technician.

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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