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This is a drawig of Yanlan Mao, with a red background and Yanlan in the forground wth a cream jumper

Professor Yanlan Mao

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Yanlan Mao is a Group Leader and Professor of Developmental Biophysics at the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London. After receiving her BA in Natural Sciences (1st Class) at Cambridge University, she completed her PhD with Matthew Freeman at the MRC LMB in Cambridge on Drosophila cell signaling and epithelial patterning. During her postdoc with Nic Tapon at the CRUK London Research Institute (now Francis Crick Institute), she became interested in tissue mechanics and computational modelling approaches, and studied the role of mechanical forces in orienting cell divisions and controlling tissue shape.
In 2014, Yanlan started her independent research group, and has continued to investigate the role of mechanical forces in tissue development, homeostasis and repair. She now holds an MRC Senior Fellowship, a Lister Institute Prize and an L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship. She was selected to join the EMBO Young Investigator Programme in 2018, and has received numerous awards for her work, including the Early Career Prize in Mechanobiology by the Biophysical Society, the BSCB Women in Cell Biology Early Career Medal, and the Royal Microscopic Society Life Sciences Medal.

Yanlan is passionate about outreach activities and is a strong advocate for diversity in science. If you would like to join our team please get in touch:


2009-2013 | Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CRUK London Research Institute


2004-2008 | PhD in Developmental Biology and Genetics, MRC LMB / Cambridge University 

2001-2004 | BA in Natural Sciences, Cambridge University


2022    MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship

2021    Royal Microscopical Society Medal for Life Sciences

2020    BSCB Women in Cell Biology Early Career Medal

2019    Biophysical Society Early Career Award in Mechanobiology 

2019    EMBO Young Investigator Programme

2018    Lister Institute Research Prize

2018    L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship

2017    National Science Foundation of China International Young Scientist Fellowship

2014    MRC Career Development Award

2013    UCL Excellence Fellowship

2009    MRC Biomedical Informatics Fellowship

2009    CRUK Postdoctoral Fellowship

2004    MRC PhD Studentship

2004    Downing College (Cambridge) Harrison Prize for best Biological Sciences project and dissertation


2022-2027 | MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship
2020-2023 | Leverhulme Trust Project Grant
2022-2024 | MSCA (Marie Curie) fellowship to Pablo Vicente Munuera
2021-2023 | EMBO Long Term Fellowship to Giulia Paci
2020-2022 | NC3R fellowship to Nargess Khaligharibi 
2019-2024 | EMBO Young Investigator Programme
2018-2023 | Lister Institute Research Prize
2018-2019 | L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship
2017-2021 | CONACYT and UCL Overseas Research Scholarship to Alejandra Guzman Herrera
2013-2019 | MRC Career Development Fellowship
2016-2019 | Marie Curie ITN grant - PolarNet
2017-2018 | National Science Foundation of China International Young Scientist Fellowship
2013-2016 | UCL Excellence Fellowship
2016-2019 | MRC Quantitative Skills Development Fellowship to Rob Tetley 
2016-2017 | EC H2020 MSCA Individual Fellowship to Maria Duda
2014-2018 | Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship to Melda Tozluoglu

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