Professor Sir Richard Gardner
Honorary Professor




2007 - Emeritus Professor University of York
1978 - 2008 Royal Society Professor University of Oxford
1973 - 1978 University Lecturer University of Oxford
1969 - 1978 Research Fellow University of Cambridge
1966 - 1971 Research Student University of Cambridge        



My main research of late has been focused on looking for regularities in preimplantation mammalian development that are indicative of the phenomenon of pre-patterning which is the norm in development of most other metazoa. A particularly interesting recent finding is that altering the cellular composition of embryos as early as the 8-cell stage in the mouse can have a marked effect on the specification of facets of left-right asymmetry. I am presently extending my studies on pre-patterning to the early bovine embryo since it is possibly more relevant than the mouse to the situation in the human. My work on embryonic stem cells is concerned particularly with the effects of long -term culture on their capacity to differentiate normally, as judged by their ability to participate in embryonic development. Contrary to general belief, prolonged passage of these cells can result in loss of ability to behave normal despite retention of a normal karyotype and lack of any more subtle genomic change. The implication is that embryonic stem cells can undergo subtle stable epigenetic changes that could compromise their value in regenerative medicine


  • Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship. (Funding body: Leverhulme)


Selected publications

Kunath, T., Arnaud, D., Uy, G., Okamoto, I., Chureau, C., Yamanaka, Y, Heard, E., Gardner, R. L., Avner, P, & Rossant, J. (2005) Extraembryonic endoderm cell lines from mouse blastocysts Development 132: 1649-1661

Gardner, R. L. & Davies, T. J. (2006) An investigation of the origin and significance of bilateral symmetry of the pronuclear zygote in the mouse. Hum. Reprod 21: 492-502

Tesar, P.J, Chenoweth, J.G., Brook. F.A., Davies, T.J., Evans, E.P., Mack, D.L., Gardner, R.L. & McKay, R.D (2007) New cell lines from mouse epiblast share defining features with human embryonic stem cells. Nature 448: 196-199

External activities


  • 2006-2008 President of the Institute of Biology
  • 1986-2006 President of the Institute of Animal Technology
  • 1982- Chair of Royal Society Working Groups on human embryo research, stem cells and cloning etc.
  • 1982-4 Council of the Royal Society
Professor Sir Richard Gardner

Contact details

Prof. Richard Gardner
Honorary Professor
Department of Biology
University of York
YO10 5DD