Dr Henry H. Roehl

Dr Henry RoehlSenior Lecturer
Department of Biomedical Science
The University of Sheffield
Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 2351
Room: C21 Firth Court
Email: h.roehl@sheffield.ac.uk

Patterning & Morphogenesis Bateson Centre

Developmental Biology
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Brief career history

  • 2004-present: MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics, University of Sheffield
  • 2011-present: Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield
  • 2002-present: Lecturer, University of Sheffield
  • 1997-2002: Postdoctoral Fellow, Max-Planck-Institut, Tuebingen. Research advisor: Dr. Nuesslein-Volhard
  • 1994-1997: Ph.D. Genetics University of Wisconsin-Madison. Research advisor: Dr. Judith Kimble
  • 1990-1994: Masters Genetics University of Wisconsin-Madison. Research advisor: Dr. Judith Kimble
  • 1983-1988: B.S. Biology, Antioch College

Research interests

The Roehl Laboratory uses zebrafish as a model organism to study musculoskeletal development and disease.

Professional activities

  • Co-organiser of the EMBO 2016 Regen meeting
  • Academic Editor PLoS ONE (2011- present)
  • Advisor to RSPCA on manual entitled: Housing and care of aquatic species Zebrafish (2010)
  • Member of the Mellanby Centre for bone research (2009-present)
  • MHE Scientific Advisory Board USA (2008-present)
  • Member of the MRC College of Experts (2006-2010)
  • Membership in two EU funded, FW6 consortiums: ZF Models (2003-2008) and Cells to organs (2003-2009)
  • Member of the Tuebingen 2000 Screen Consortium (2000-2002)
  • EMBO Long-term Fellowship (1997-2000)
  • NIH Postgraduate Training Fellowship (1990-1994)
  • Review for Developmental Dynamics, Developmental Biology, Journal of Experimental Zoology, Current Biology, PLoS One, PLoS Genetics, Development, Biotechnology Journal, FASEB Journal.
  • BSDB Committee Member
  • PLoS One Academic Editor
Invited lectures and workshops
  • UK Mesenchymal Stem Cell Meeting. Birmingham, UK (1/7/11)
  • Hereditary Multiple Exostoses Support Group Meeting. Liverpool, UK (26/3/11)
  • Institute of Animal Technology Meeting. Sheffield, UK (8/9/10)
  • Course teacher in EMBO practical course “Animal models for physiology and disease” UK (19/7/10)
  • Gordon Conference Proteoglycans, Proctor Academy, Andover, NH, USA (11/7/10)
  • Third International MHE/MO/HME Research Conference, Boston, USA (29/10/09)
  • Bone Research Society's annual meeting. London, UK (15/06/09)
  • Tissue Specification and Organogenesis. Lisbon, Portugal (6/2/09)
  • Developmental Biology Seminar Series. Gurdon Institute, Cambridge UK (6/6/08)
  • Society for Glycobiology annual meeting. Boston USA (12/11/07)
  • Course teacher in EMBO practical course "Animal models for development, physiology and disease" UK (16/7/07)
  • Craniofacial Development seminar series. KCL, London UK (11/6/07)
  • Genetics and Development seminar series, LIMR, Mill Hill, UK (12/6/07)
  • Gordon Conference Proteoglycans, Proctor Academy, Andover, NH, USA (11/7/06)
  • IMP seminar series, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, AT (2/2/06)

Full publications


Modelling skeletal disease in zebrafish

How do developmental signalling pathways regulate osteoblast differentiation during development and skeletal repair?

Osteoblasts in zebrafish follow the same differentiation pathway as in mammals: The runx2 genes are expressed in early skeletal precursors, followed by osterix and then finally by genes encoding bone proteins such as Osteonectin and Collagen1.

We have analysed how different signalling pathways regulate these steps during osteoblastogenesis using heatshock induction of signalling pathway components and pharmaceuticals that target individual pathways.

Our work has shed light on how stem cells differentiate in vivo and may help to develop regenerative therapies for skeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. We have also found a link between osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation in vivo that may help us to unravel the genetic origins of diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

Figure 1


  • Cancer Research UK
  • Medical Research Council
  • HEFC

Current lab members

See: Roehl lab members


Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules

Level 2:

  • BMS238 Cell and Molecular Biology (Coordinator)

Level 3:

  • BMS326 Modelling Human Disease
  • BMS339 Patients as Educators Project (Coordinator)
  • BMS349 Extended Research Project

Masters (MSc):

  •  BMS6055 Modelling Human Disease

PhD Studentship project

Identification of the molecular pathways that guide zebrafish regeneration - Henry Roehl (Awaiting funding decision/Possible external funding)

Funding status: Awaiting funding decision/Possible external funding

Project Description

The study of regenerative biology aims to elucidate the innate ability of organisms to replace tissues or organs after they have been removed or damaged. During vertebrate regeneration, tissue damage causes the immediate release of signals that initiate wound closure and inflammation. Following this, regenerative cells proliferate and migrate to the damaged area. These cells then grow to replace the missing organ or tissue. This process is very efficient in aquatic vertebrates such as salamanders, frogs and fish, and is not very successful in terrestrial vertebrates such as ourselves.

This project uses zebrafish as a model to identify the signals that recruit regenerative cells to the site of injury. Genetic and pharmacolgical inhibition of signalling pathways will be used to identify key regenerative signalling pathways. Time-lapse analysis at the single cell level will be used to analyse the roles of different pathways in attracting and guiding cell migration. The successful candidate will join a supportive and hardworking team of scientists based in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and the Bateson Life Course Biology Centre.

The student will use cutting-edge techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, light sheet microscopy and next generation sequencing. The long-term goal of this project is to improve regenerative medicine approaches for patients.

Keywords: Cell Biology / Development, Genetics

To find out more about this studentship, other departmental projects and how to apply see our PhD opportunities page:

PhD Opportunities

Selected publications

Journal articles