Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Camden

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology, CPCS (Research Programme)

Steve is an Assistant Lecturer at the RVC.

Steve graduated from The University of York in 1989, and obtained his PhD from the University of Leeds in 1993 on calcium transport in mitochondria of normal and hypoxic/re-oxygenated heart muscle. He then spent 3 years working on remodeling of the peripheral vasculature in response to hypertension at the Medical College of Hampton Roads, USA, where he was awarded an American Heart Association Fellowship.

Steve then returned to the UK to work on growth factors and signaling molecules that regulate development/regeneration of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems at Kings College, London and later at the RVC.

As a molecular developmental biologist Steve’s research interests are the mechanisms that regulate development of the embryonic cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems with a particular interest in Wnt and TGFβ signaling. The model most widely used in the lab is the developing chick embryo, as these are easily accessible during development, and can be manipulated using a number of both surgical and genetic approaches. Genetic manipulations include the over-expression of target genes using the RCAS retroviral delivery system and more recently loss of function using retroviral delivery of RNAi.


Crespo-Enriquez, I; Hodgson, T; Zakaria, S; Cadoni, E; Shah, M; Allen, S; Al-Krishali, A; Mao, Y; Yiu, A; Villagomez-Olea, G; Petzold, J; Pitsillides, A A; Irvine, K; Francis-West, P (2019)
Dchs1-Fat4 regulation of osteogenic differentiation in mouse

Krishnakumar, K; Chakravorty, I; Foy, W; Allen, S P; Justo, T; Mukherjee, A; Dhoot, G K. (2018)
Multi-tasking Sulf1/Sulf2 enzymes do not only facilitate extracellular cell signalling but also participate in cell cycle related nuclear events.
Experimental Cell Research,.

Coulton, G; Hou, Y W; Mirczuk, S M; Allen, S P. (2016)
Raf kinase inhibitor protein1 is a myogenic inhibitor with conserved function in avians and mammals.

Staines, K A; Prideaux, M; Allen, S; Buttle, D J; Pitsillides, A A; Farquharson, C. (2016)
E11/Podoplanin Protein Stabilization Through Inhibition of the Proteasome Promotes Osteocyte Differentiation in Murine in Vitro Models.
Journal of Cellular Physiology, 231;6:1392-1404.

El-Magd, M A; Allen, S P; McGonnell, I M; Mansour, A A; Otto, A; Patel, K. (2015)
Shh regulates chick Ebf1 gene expression in somite development.
Gene, 554;1:87-95.

El-Magd, M A; Allen, S P; McGonnell, I M; Otto, A; Patel, K. (2013)
Bmp4 regulates chick Ebf2 and Ebf3 gene expression in somite development.
Development, Growth & Differentiation, 55;8:710-722.

Sharili, A; Allen, S P; Smith, K; Price, J; McGonnell, I M. (2013)
Snail2 promotes osteosarcoma cell motility through remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton and regulates tumour development.
Cancer Letters, 333;2:170-179.

Hitchins, L; Fletcher, F; Allen, S P; Dhoot, G K. (2013)
Role of Sulf1A in Wnt1- and Wnt6-induced growth regulation and myoblast hyperelongation.
FEBS Open Bio, 330-34.

Clarkin, C E; Allen, S P; Wheeler-Jones, C P D; Bastow, ER; Pitsillides, A A. (2011)
Reduced chondrogenic matrix accumulation by 4-methylumbelliferone reveals the potential for selective targeting of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase.
MATRIX BIOLOGY, 30;3:163-168.

Clarkin CE, Allen S, Kuiper N, Wheeler BT, Wheeler-Jones CP, Pitsillides AA. (2010) Regulation of UDP-Glucose Dehydrogenase is Sufficient to Modulate Hyaluronan Production and Release, Control Sulphated GAG Synthesis and Promote Chondrogenesis. J Cell Physiology (2010) 

Otto A, Schmidt C, Luke G, Alle, S, Valasek, P, Muntoni F, Lawrence-Watt D, Patel K Canonical Wnt signalling induces satellite-cell proliferation during adult skeletal muscle regeneration. J Cell Sci. 121: 2939-50 (2008)

Schmidt C, McGonnell IM, Allen S, Patel K.The role of Wnt signalling in the development of somites and neural crest. Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol. 195:1-64 (2008)

Schmidt C, McGonnell IM, Allen S, Otto A, Patel K. Wnt6 controls amniote neural crest induction through the non-canonical signaling pathway. Dev Dyn. 236: 2502-11 (2007)

Zhao W, Allen S, Dhoot, G FGF mediated Sulf1 regulation FEBS Letters 581: 4960 - 4964 (2007)

Mount JM, Allen SP, McGonnell IM, Price JS The canonical Wnt signalling pathway regulates multiple stages in the regeneration of the deer antler. Dev. Dynam. 235: 1390-1399 (2006)

Anakwe K, Robson L, Hadley J, Buxton P, Church V, Allen S, Hartmann C, Harfe B, Nohno T, Brown AM, Evans DJ, Francis-West P. Wnt signalling regulates myogenic differentiation in the developing avian wing. Development. 130: 3503-3514 (2003)

Allen SP, Maden M, Price JS. A role for retinoic acid in regulating the regeneration of deer antlers. Dev Biol. 251: 409-23 (2002)

Allen SP, Bogardi JP, Barlow AJ, Mir SA, Qayyum SR, Verbeek FJ, Anderson RH, Francis-West PH, Brown NA, Richardson MK. Misexpression of noggin leads to septal defects in the outflow tract of the chick heart. Dev Biol. 235: 98-109 (2001).

Ladher RK, Church VL, Allen S, Robson L, Abdelfattah A, Brown NA, Hattersley G, Rosen V, Luyten FP, Dale L, Francis-West PH. Cloning and expression of the Wnt antagonists Sfrp-2 and Frzb during chick development. Dev Biol. 218: 183-98 (2000)

Francis-West PH, Abdelfattah A, Chen P, Allen C, Parish J, Ladher R, Allen S, MacPherson S, Luyten FP and Archer CW Mechanisms of GDF-5 action during skeletal development. Dev. 126, 1305-1315 (1999)

Steve currently teaches on the BVetMed, BSc Bioveterinary Science and Gateway courses as well as organizing a course on laboratory techniques for postgraduate students. In addition he acts as a supervisor on 2nd and 3rd year BSc Bioveterinary Science research projects.

Additionally, Steve has contributed to the MSc course in Musculoskeletal Biology at the Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculo-Skeletal Science, University College London, specifically lecturing on Wnt Signaling in Muscle and Chondrodysplasias. Along with other colleagues at the RVC, Steve is undertaking the post-graduate certificate in academic practice (PGCAP) at Kings College London.

  • UKRI GCRF Action Against Stunting Hub

    The UKRI GCRF Action Against Stunting Hub is conducting vital research to address the intractable global challenge of child stunting. We work directly with communities across India, Indonesia and Senegal who are facing this burden. Applying a holistic, Whole Child Approach, we’re developing child-focused interventions to prevent, improve and even reverse some key features of this global issue. The tools and approaches we develop in the Hub have the potential to change the lives of a million children worldwide.

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