Professor Paul Martin

Lab Overview

We investigate the genetics and cell biology of wound inflammation using in vivo model organisms to figure out how best to modulate the inflammatory  response  to prevent the negative consequences of repair, including fibrosis and impaired angiogenesis.  Recently, we have also begun to investigate parallels between wound and cancer-triggered inflammation.

Research Questions

We model various aspects of tissue repair in several genetically tractable model organisms from the fruitfly, Drosophila, through to mice…and sometimes in vitro using human primary cells. A key recent focus has been wound inflammation. We know that inflammation is both beneficial for healing in that it fights infection and drives wound angiogeneisis, but it has negative consequences also, in that it causes scarring and is aberrant in chronic wounds.  We use Drosophila and translucent zebrafish, which are both amenable to live imaging and mathematical modelling, to make movies of innate immune cell migration into the wound and to dissect the genetics of inflammatory cell recruitment towards tissue damage, and its consequences, and, its parallels with cancer inflammation.  Most recently we have also begun to investigate how adipocytes, and their collaborative efforts with inflammatory cells, might link into wound repair and cancer.


  • Use of genetically tractable model organisms
  • Live confocal imaging
  • Correlative light and electron microscope (CLEM) studies


We participate in several outreach programmes including Bristol’s Pint of Science, and Science Cafes, and I gave a TedMed Talk on “using zebrafish as a model of cancer” ….whilst I was undergoing chemotherapy cancer treatment and had no hair.

Selected Publications

  • Gurevich D., Severn, C., Twomey, C., Greenhough, A., Cash J., Toye, A., Mellor, H. and Martin, P.  (2018). Live imaging of wound angiogenesis reveals macrophage orchestrated vessel sprouting and regression. EMBO J. 37, e97786.
  • Morris, JL, Cross, S., Lu, Y., Kadler, K., Lu, Y., Dallas, S. and Martin P. (2018). Live imaging of collagen deposition during skin development and repair in a Collagen I – GFP fusion transgenic zebrafish line.  Dev Biol. 441, 4-11.
  • Thuma, L., Carter, DA., Weavers, H. *, Martin, P. * (*joint last/corresponding authors). (2018). Drosophila immune cells extravasate from vessels to wounds using Tre1 GPCR and Rho signaling.  J Cell Biol. 217, 3045-56.
  • Franz, A., Wood, W.* and Martin, P.*  (*joint last/corresponding authors). (2018). Fat body cells are motile andactively migrate to wounds to drive repair and prevent infection. Dev Cell. 44, 460-470.
  • Eming S.A., Wynn, T.A. and Martin P. (2017) (equal contributing/corresponding authors). Inflammation and metabolism in tissue repair and regeneration.  Science 356, 1026-1030.


  • Medical programme – embryology lectures
  • Lectures on various 2nd and 3rd year PPN and Biochemistry courses
  • Physiology Tutor


  • Co-Director (with Pete Cullen and Ian Collinson) of Wellcome Trust 4yr PhD programme in “The Dynamic Molecular Cell” – from 2008, twice renewed;
  • Co-Director (with Axel Walther) of Bristol Cancer Network – from 2013.
Professor Paul Martin

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