Department of Biology & Biochemistry


Emeritus professor

Dept of Biology and Biochemistry



Prof Jonathan Slack

Professor Slack is a developmental biologist. His areas of research expertise comprise regeneration of missing parts and transformation of one cell type into another. He no longer runs a research lab but remains active in the areas of teaching and scientific writing. His most recent books are as follows:

The Science of Stem Cells. Wiley-Blackwell 2018.

A textbook for students studying stem cell biology.

  • What is a stem cell?
  • Characterizing cells
  • Genetic modification and labeling of cell lineages
  • Tissue culture, tissue engineering and grafting
  • Early mouse and human development.
  • Pluripotent stem cells.
  • Body plan formation
  • Organogenesis
  • Cell differentiation and growth
  • Stem cells in the body
  • Regeneration, wound healing and cancer

Genes. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press 2014.

  • History of the gene concept
  • Identification of genes with DNA
  • Mutations and genetic disease
  • Tracing ancestors and populations
  • Heritability and complex character
  • Genes in evolution

Essential Developmental Biology, Third edition. Wiley-Blackwell 2013.

A comprehensive introduction to all aspects of developmental biology. The third edition has been expanded and updated to include:

  • Numerous full-color photographs of developmental biology specimens
  • A new concise summary of "How Development Works"
  • New chapters on “Techniques for Studying Organogenesis” and "Applications of Pluripotent Stem Cells"
  • Expanded treatment of human development, tissue renewal, stem cells, growth, aging, and regeneration.

The accompanying website provides useful materials for both student and instructor, including animated developmental processes and all artwork in downloadable format.

With an emphasis on a clear explanation of the properties of the main model organisms, the main methods of investigation, and the evidence underpinning the main conclusions, this book is designed for both undergraduate and first year graduate courses in developmental biology.

Stem Cells. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press 2012.

  • An accessible introduction to a complicated topic
  • Considers what stem cells are, what scientists do with them, what stem cell therapies are available today, and how they might be used in future
  • Focuses on the science behind stem cells, rather than issues relating to law and politics
  • Gives a realistic assessment about the clinical applications of stem cells
  • Includes a glossary of technical terms

Prof. Slack is the "Regional Champion" for the Academy of Medical Sciences, organising events and activities in the South West region.


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