Originally Portuguese, Silvia Santos left sunny Portugal to study Molecular and Cell Biology in the UK.

Silvia did her PhD at the EMBL in Heidelberg where she worked as a Marie Curie E-Star fellow. She moved to Stanford University for her post-doctoral training with Jim Ferrell and Tobias Meyer where she worked initially as an EMBO fellow, and, later as HFSP fellow. Silvia started her independent research at the MRC-LMS in Imperial College London in 2014 as an MRC career development awardee (MRC-CDA).

She joined the Francis Crick Institute in December 2017 as a group leader to establish the Quantitative Cell Biology lab.

Since her PhD Silvia combines experimental and theoretical approaches to understand decision-making during transitions. In this context, her lab studies cell division and cellular differentiation in early development, using human embryonic stem (hES) cells as a model system.

In the lab

Silvia’s long term passion has been to understand spatial-temporal control principles during cell decision-making. The lab focuses on two important cellular decisions: cell fate commitment and cell division. Silvia still escapes to the lab as much as she can. And presents lab meeting! She was the chair for mentorship at LMS-Imperial College and is committed to promote excellent training and mentorship for post-docs and students. She is an advocate of women in science and diversity.


Enthusiasm, story telling and golden hands for experiments.

Outside of the lab

Everything artsy. Dance. Yoga. And always East London.



Qualifications and history

EMBL-Heidelberg, Germany
Stanford University, USA
Postdoctoral fellow
Imperial College London, London, UK
Career Development Award (CDA), MRC-LMS
Francis Crick Institute
Group Leader
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Last updated : 14 April 2024 03:38