Tiago C. Luis, PhD

Tiago Luis

Principal Investigator
Sir Henry Dale Fellow of the Wellcome Trust and The Royal Society

I graduated from the University of Lisbon (Portugal) in 2005 and since then my research has focused on the mechanisms regulating haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function and the extracellular signals these cells receive from their niche. During my PhD studies in the laboratory of Prof. Frank Staal and Prof. Jacques van Dongen at Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam (The Netherlands) I studied the role of the Wnt-signalling pathway in haematopoiesis. I demonstrated a stage/lineage-specific and dosage-dependent effect of Wnt-signalling throughout adult haematopoiesis. After obtaining my PhD in 2010 I joined the laboratory of Prof. Sten Eirik Jacobsen at the University of Oxford (UK) as an EMBO postdoctoral fellow, to investigate the cellular pathways of lineage commitment from HSCs. I characterized the first haematopoietic progenitors that migrate and colonize the foetal thymus, where they encounter a specific microenvironment eliciting further differentiation through the T-lymphocyte lineage. In 2014 I as awarded a Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Fellowship to investigate the bone marrow niche of platelet-biased HSCs. 

In 2018 I was awarded a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society to start my laboratory at Imperial College London. My research focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which the bone marrow niche regulates HSCs, in homeostasis and in the development of haematological malignancies.

 Lab Members

VasilikiVasiliki Symeonidou

Post-doctoral Research Associate

I have a B.Sc. in Biology and M.Sc. in Analytical Biosciences and Drug Design. In 2015 I was awarded a studentship from the Medical Research Council to pursue a doctorate at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Prof. Katrin Ottersbach. For my Ph.D., I studied infant MLL-AF4-driven Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia where I showed that the foetal origin of the disease is critical for its initiation, maintenance and treatment. I joined the Luis lab in January 2020 where I am studying how the bone marrow niche influences development of haematological malignancies and vice-versa.

MarkMark Pailing

Master Student - MRes Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Program

My name is Mark Pailing, I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Southampton. I am currently studying MRes Molecular and Cellular Biosciences. I am currently working in the Luis lab studying the role of HSC niche in leukaemia development.

Hana DowidarHana Dowidar

Student - BSc Medical Bioscience

My name is Hana Dowidar, I’m from Egypt, and I am a Medical Biosciences undergraduate student at Imperial. I am currently working in the Luis lab during my final year placement. Here in the lab, I am studying the role of the haematopoietic stem cell niche in the development of leukaemia.

Join the lab


We welcome informal enquiries about opportunities to work in our team. If you are interested in joining the lab please get in touch.



Past Lab Members

KexinKexin Fan

Research Assistant - 2019-2020

My name is Kexin Fan and I was born in China. For my undergraduate degree, I studied biology in the college of William and Mary in the United States. I did my MSc in the Luis Lab and stayed as a Research Assistant to continue working on the haematopoietic stem  cell niche.

Past Rotation Students

Eleonor Hawkins 

MRes Molecular and Cellular Biology - 2019