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:

Slack, J.M.W. (2014). Genes. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.

  • 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 

Slack, J.M.W. (2013). Essential Developmental Biology, Third edition. Wiley-Blackwell.

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.


Slack, J.M.W. (2012). Stem Cells. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.

  • 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 currently working on another textbook: Basic Science of Stem Cell Biology (Wiley-Blackwell), which is scheduled to appear in 2017.

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


Colleypriest, B. J., Burke, Z. D., Griffiths, L. P., Chen, Y., Yu, W.-Y., Jover, R., Bock, M., Biddlestone, L., Quinlan, J. M., Ward, S. G., Mark Farrant, J., Slack, J. M. W. and Tosh, D., 2017. Hnf4α is a key gene that can generate columnar metaplasia in oesophageal epithelium. Differentiation, 93, pp. 39-49.

Slack, J. M. W., 2016. Turning one cell type into another. Current Topics in Developmental Biology, 117, pp. 339-358.

Slack, J., 2014. Establishment of spatial pattern. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology, 3 (6), pp. 379-388.

O'Neill, K.E., Thowfeequ, S., Li, W.-C., Eberhard, D., Dutton, J.R., Tosh, D. and Slack, J.M.W., 2014. Hepatocyte-ductal transdifferentiation is mediated by reciprocal repression of SOX9 and C/EBPα. Cellular Reprogramming, 16 (5), pp. 314-323.

Slack, J., 2014. A Twist of Fate. [Non-academic press]

Banga, A., Greder, L.V., Dutton, J. R. and Slack, J., 2014. Reprogramming of progenitor cells in the liver to a pancreatic endocrine phenotype using a three gene cocktail and a PPAR agonist. Gene Therapy, 21, pp. 19-27.

Slack, J., 2014. Molecular Biology of the Cell. In: Lanza, R., Langer, R. and Vacanti, J. P., eds. Principles of Tissue Engineering.4th Edition ed. Academic Press, pp. 127-145.

Akinci, E., Banga, A., Tungatt, K., Segal, J., Eberhard, D., Dutton, J. R. and Slack, J. M. W., 2013. Reprogramming of various cell types to a beta-like state by Pdx1, Ngn3 and MafA. PLoS ONE, 8 (11), e82424.

Lin, G., Chen, Y. and Slack, J., 2013. Imparting regenerative capacity to limbs by progenitor cell transplantation. Developmental Cell, 24 (1), pp. 41-51.

Yang, Y., Akinci, E., Dutton, J. R., Banga, A. and Slack, J., 2013. Stage specific reprogramming of mouse embryo liver cells to a beta cell-like phenotype. Mechanisms of Development, 130 (11-12), pp. 602-612.

Sajini, A.A., Greder, L.V., Dutton, J. R. and Slack, J., 2012. Loss of Oct4 expression during the development of murine embryoid bodies. Developmental Biology, 371 (2), pp. 170-179.

Greder, L.V., Gupta, S., Li, S., Abedin, M.J., Sajini, A.A., Segal, Y. and Slack, J., 2012. Analysis of endogenous Oct4 activation during iPS cell reprogramming using an inducible Oct4 lineage label. Stem Cells, 30 (11), pp. 2596-2601.

Slack, J., 2012. Essential Developmental Biology. Wiley-Blackwell.

Chen, Y., Lin, G., Chen, Y.-C., Fok, A. and Slack, J., 2012. Micro-computed tomography for visualizing limb skeletal regeneration in young Xenopus frogs. The Anatomical Record : Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, 295 (10), pp. 1562-1565.

Lin, G., Chen, Y. and Slack, J., 2012. Transgenic analysis of signaling pathways required for Xenopus tadpole spinal cord and muscle regeneration. The Anatomical Record : Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, 295 (10), pp. 1532-1540.

Banga, A., Akinci, E., Greder, L.V., Dutton, J. R. and Slack, J., 2012. In vivo reprogramming of Sox9+ cells in the liver to insulin-secreting ducts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109 (38), pp. 15336-15341.

Kudva, Y.C., Ohmine, S., Greder, L.V., Dutton, J. R., Armstrong, A., De Lamo, J.G., Khan, Y.K., Thatava, T., Hasegawa, M., Fusaki, N., Slack, J. and Ikeda, Y., 2012. Transgene-free disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 1 (6), pp. 451-461.

Slack, J., 2012. Alternative Cells for Regeneration. Developmental Cell, 22 (4), pp. 689-690.

Akinci, E., Banga, A., Greder, L.V., Dutton, J. R. and Slack, J., 2012. Reprogramming of pancreatic exocrine cells towards a beta cell character using Pdx1, Ngn3 and MafA. Biochemical journal, 442 (3), pp. 539-550.

Dutton, J. R. and Slack, J., 2012. Induced pluripotent stem cells and the prospects for cardiac cell therapy. In: Vlodaver, Z., Wilson, R. F. and Garry, D. J., eds. Coronary Heart Disease. Springer.

Slack, J., 2012. Stem Cells:A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.

Slack, J., 2011. Planarian Pluripotency. Science, 332 (6031), pp. 799-800.

Daughters, R. S., Chen, Y. and Slack, J., 2011. Origin of muscle satellite cells in the Xenopus embryo. Development, 138 (5), pp. 821-830.

Slack, J. M. W., Colleypriest, B. J., Quinlan, J. M., Yu, W. Y., Farrant, J. M. and Tosh, D., 2010. Barrett's metaplasia: molecular mechanisms and nutritional influences. Biochemical Society Transactions, 38 (2), pp. 313-319.

Colleypriest, B. J., Farrant, J. M., Slack, J. M. W. and Tosh, D., 2010. The role of Cdx2 in Barrett's metaplasia. Biochemical Society Transactions, 38 (2), pp. 364-369.

Slack, J., 2010. Evolution of Regeneration. In: Rosenthal, N. and Harvey, R. P., eds. Heart Development and Regeneration.Vol. 2. Elsevier Academic Press, pp. 827-837.

Burke, Z. D., Li, W.-C., Slack, J. and Tosh, D., 2010. Isolation and culture of embryonic pancreas and liver. In: Ward, A. and Tosh, D., eds. Mouse Cell Culture: Methods and Protocols.633 ed. Humana Press, pp. 91-99.

Bosnakovski, D., Daughters, R. S., Xu, Z., Slack, J. and Kyba, M., 2009. Biphasic myopathic phenotype of mouse DUX, an ORF within conserved FSHD-related repeats. PLoS ONE, 4 (9).

Coad, R. A., Dutton, J. R., Tosh, D. and Slack, J., 2009. Inhibition of Hes1 activity in gall bladder epithelial cells promotes insulin expression and glucose responsiveness. Biochemistry and Cell Biology - Biochimie Et Biologie Cellulaire, 87 (6), pp. 975-987.

Slack, J., 2009. Metaplasia and somatic cell reprogramming. The Journal of Pathology, 217 (2), pp. 161-168.

Thowfeequ, S., Li, W.-C., Slack, J. M. and Tosh, D., 2009. Reprogramming of liver to pancreas. In: Audet, J. and Stanford, W. L., eds. Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine.482 ed. Humana Press, pp. 407-418.

Dutton, J. R., Daughters, R. S., Chen, Y., O'Neill, K. E. and Slack, J., 2009. Use of Adenovirus for Ectopic Gene Expression in Xenopus. Developmental Dynamics, 238 (6), pp. 1412-1421.

Slack, J., 2008. Origin of stem cells in organogenesis. Science, 332 (5907), pp. 1498-1501.

Slack, J., 2008. Entries on Developmental Biology, Transdifferentiation and University of Minnesota. In: Svendsen, C. N. and Ebert, A. D., eds. Encyclopedia of Stem Cell Research.Vol. Vols 1 and 2. Sage Publications, Inc..

Slack, J., 2008. Fate Maps (Embryology). In: McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology.10th ed. .

Eberhard, D., Tosh, D. and Slack, J., 2008. Origin of pancreatic endocrine cells from biliary duct epithelium. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (CMLS), 65 (21), pp. 3467-3480.

Lin, G. and Slack, J., 2008. Requirement for Wnt and FGF signaling in Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration. Developmental Biology, 316 (2), pp. 323-335.

Slack, J. M. W., Lin, G. and Chen, Y., 2008. The Xenopus tadpole: a new model for regeneration research. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (CMLS), 65 (1), pp. 54-63.

This list was generated on Wed Jan 18 15:18:30 2017 GMT.

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