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Dr Fatima Santos


Subject: Natural Sciences

Characterisation of epigenetic reprogramming events in mammalian embryos, particularly the characterisation of chromatin remodelling during preimplantation development upon fertilization and following somatic nuclear transfer, as a means of understanding the events that lead to lineage commitment and cell differentiation in mammals.
Postgraduate Tutor (Pastoral)
Senior Research Scientist

Dr Fátima Santos was educated in Portugal, where she read Biology and obtained a PhD in Genetics. She was Auxiliary Professor at the University of Porto, as well as Population Geneticist at the Institute of Pathology and Molecular Immunology, University of Porto (IPATIMUP), before coming to work with Professor Wolf Reik at The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, in 1999. She is a Senior Research Scientist and Research Associate of the Centre for Trophoblast Research having done pioneering work characterising DNA methylation dynamics in mammalian pre-implantation development. Her research interests focus on the study of epigenetic remodelling in the early embryo as a means of understanding the events that lead to lineage commitment and cell differentiation in mammals. She is also committed to science communication, particularly to young people, and is regularly invited to participate in public engagement activities such as the Royal Institution 2013 Advent Calendar ( - see chromosome 11).

  • Takashima Y, Guo G, Loos R, Nichols J, Ficz G, Krueger F, Oxley D, Santos F, Clarke J, Mansfield W, Reik W, Bertone P, Smith A (2014) Resetting transcription factor control circuitry toward ground-state pluripotency in human. Cell 158: 1254-1269.
  • Santos F, Peat J, Burgess H, Rada C, Reik W, Dean W (2013) Active demethylation in mouse zygotes involves cytosine deamination and base excision repair. Epigenetics & Chromatin 6: 39.
  • Ficz G, Hore TA, Santos F, Lee HJ, Dean W, Arand J, Krueger F, Oxley D, Paul Y-L , Walter J, Cook S, Andrews S, Branco M, Reik W (2013) FGF signalling inhibition drives rapid genome-wide demethylation to the epigenetic ground state of pluripotency. Cell Stem Cell 13: 351-359.
  • Ficz G, Branco MR, Seisenberger S, Santos F, Krueger F, Hore TA, Marques CJ, Andrews S, Reik W ( 2011) Dynamic regulation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mouse ES cells and during differentiation. Nature 473:398-402.
  • Santos F, Hendrich B, Reik W, Dean W (2002) Dynamic reprogramming of DNA methylation in the early mouse embryo. Dev Biol 241: 172-182.