Jean-Paul Vincent obtained his first degree in engineering and applied physics from the University of Louvain (Belgium).
He was then awarded a Fulbright fellowship for postgraduate studies in Biophysics at the University of California Berkeley (MA and PhD). His thesis showed that the dorso-ventral axis of frog embryos is specified by the subcortical rotation in the egg.
From Berkeley, Jean-Paul moved to the University of California, San Francisco for postdoctoral training with Patrick O'Farrell (as a Damon Runyon Fellow). There, in collaboration with Tim Mitchison, he devised the first cell lineage tracer based on caged dye technology.
In 1993, he started his own research group at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK) where he further developed his interests in epithelial patterning.
He moved to the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in 1997 (now part of the Francis Crick Institute). There, he started to investigate how intracellular trafficking and other processes modulate the activity of Wingless, an important signalling molecule. He subsequently initiated a parallel area of research aimed at identifying the signals that trigger apoptosis in response to epithelial disruption or cell fate mis-specification.
Jean-Paul is a member of British Society for Developmental Biology, the British Society for Cell Biology and the British Genetics Society. He was elected to EMBO in 2006. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) and the Royal Society (FRS). He sits on various review panels and scientific advisory committees. He co-founded VastOX, now Summit PLC.