Professor Stefan Hoppler

Professor Stefan Hoppler
University Diploma (equiv. to MSc) in Zoology and Molecular Biology, Univ. of Zürich, Switzerland. Dr. phil. II (equiv. to Ph.D.) in Zoology, Univ. of Zürich, Switzerland

Personal Chair

Professor Stefan Hoppler
Professor Stefan Hoppler

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 437383
The University of Aberdeen UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
Institute of Medical Sciences (6.22)
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition
Foresterhill Health Campus
ABERDEEN, AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK


Born and brought up in Winterthur, Switzerland. Undergraduate studies in Zoology and Molecular Biology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland.  Postgraduate studies in Zürich and at the M.R.C. Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK with Dr. Mariann Bienz on the function of homeotic genes and wingless signalling in Drosophila midgut development (Publications). Postdoc with Prof. Randall Moon at the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A. studying Wnt signalling in early amphibian development (Publications). Postdoct. Research Assistant with Dr. Enrique Amaya, Univ. of Cambridge, U.K.. Principal Investigator at Wellcome Trust Biocentre, University of Dundee. With the University of Aberdeen since summer 2003.


Research Interests

The tissues and organs of developing embryos are organised by cell-to-cell signalling. These interactions are mediated by a relatively small number of signalling molecules. These signals are repeatedly used at different stages of development and in different tissues of the embryo. Wnts are one important class of such signalling molecules. They are secreted glycoproteins which function as cell-to-cell signals in develomental processes in all multicellular animals examined. Abnormally activated Wnt signalling is also involved in certain types of tumours such as breast and colon cancer.

We want to understand the normal role of Wnt signalling in patterning the developing vertebrate embryo. Where and when are Wnts used during embryogenesis and what is their function in different organs and at different stages? We have recently analysed the molecular mechanisms of tissue-specific Wnt signalling and are currently studying Wnt function in heart and brain development. We use Xenopus as our model system and apply modern techniques, such as transgenesis and antisense oligos. In collaboration we also using human Embryonic Stem Cells to model the functional role of Wnt signalling in heart muscle differentiation.

Further Info



STEFAN HOPPLER, Principal Investigator 
YVONNE TURNBULL, Research Technician since April 2005 
YUKIO NAKAMURA, Post-doctoral Fellow, since October 2011 
SILVIA MAZZOTTA, PhD Student, since September 2012
CARLOS NEVES, Post-doctoral Fellow, since May 2013

BONI AFOUDA, Postdoctoral Research Fellow since 2004

ADAM LYNCH, PhD Research Student, since October 2015



GRANT N. WHEELER, Research Associate 1998 - 2001 
FIONA HAMILTON, Ph.D. Student 1998 - 2001
ANDY BAIN, Research Technician 1999 - 2002 
DAVID WALLACE, Ph.D. Student, 2000 - 2003
FEI LIU, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, January 2003 - June 2005 
DANIELLE LAVERY, PhD student, 2003-06, Postdoc, 2007-2008
IAN DAVENPORT, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2004-2007
CLAIRE KAVANAGH, PhD student, 2004-2007
LYNNE SHANLEY, postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2005-2007
JENNIFER MARTIN, PhD student, PhD student 2005-2009 
JOHN MONAGHAN, PhD student, 2006-2010 
SABRINA SCHULZE, PhD student, 2008-2012 
NATALIE GIBB, PhD student, 2009-2013

CARLOS NEVES,  postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2013-2016



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  • Mayer, C-D, de La Giclais, SM, Alsehly, F & Hoppler, S 2020, 'Diverse LEF/TCF Expression in Human Colorectal Cancer Correlates with Altered Wnt-Regulated Transcriptome in a Meta-Analysis of Patient Biopsies', Genes, vol. 11, no. 5, 538. [Online] DOI:
  • Afouda, B, Nakamura, Y, Shaw, S, Charney, RM, Paraiso, KD, Blitz, IL, Cho, KWY & Hoppler, S 2020, 'Foxh1/Nodal defines context-specific direct maternal Wnt/β-catenin target gene regulation in early development', iScience, vol. 23, no. 7, 101314. [Online] DOI:
  • Hoppler, S & Conlon, FL 2020, 'Xenopus: Experimental Access to Cardiovascular Development, Regeneration Discovery, and Cardiovascular Heart-Defect Modeling', Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology, vol. 12, no. 6, a037200. [Online] DOI:
  • Mazzotta, S, Lynch, AT & Hoppler, S 2018, Cardiomyocyte Differentiation from Human Embryonic Stem Cells. in K Ishikawa (ed.), Experimental Models of Cardiovascular Diseases. Methods in Molecular Biology, Springer , pp. 67-78. [Online] DOI:
  • Lynch, AT, Mazzotta, S & Hoppler, S 2018, Cardiomyocyte Differentiation from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. in K Ishikawa (ed.), Experimental Models of Cardiovascular Disease: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology Series, vol. 1816, Springer , pp. 55-66. [Online] DOI:
  • Afouda, BA, Lynch, AT, De Paiva Alves, E & Hoppler, S 2018, 'Genome-wide transcriptomics analysis identifies sox7 and sox18 as specifically regulated by gata4 in cardiomyogenesis', Developmental Biology, vol. 434, no. 1, pp. 108-120. [Online] DOI:
  • Afouda, BA, Lynch, AT, De Paiva Alves, E & Hoppler, S 2018, 'Genome-wide transcriptomics analysis of genes regulated by GATA4, 5 and 6 during cardiomyogenesis in Xenopus laevis', Data in brief, vol. 17, pp. 559-563. [Online] DOI:
  • Nakamura, Y & Hoppler, S 2017, 'Genome-wide analysis of canonical Wnt target gene regulation in Xenopus tropicalis challenges β-catenin paradigm', Genesis, vol. 55, no. 1-2, e22991. [Online] DOI:
  • Mazzotta, S, Neves, C, Bonner, RJ, Bernardo, AS, Docherty, K & Hoppler, S 2016, 'Distinctive Roles of Canonical and Noncanonical Wnt Signaling in Human Embryonic Cardiomyocyte Development', Stem Cell Reports, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 764-776. [Online] DOI:
  • Nakamura, Y, de Paiva Alves, E, Veenstra, GJC & Hoppler, S 2016, 'Tissue- and stage-specific Wnt target gene expression is controlled subsequent to β-catenin recruitment to cis-regulatory modules', Development, vol. 143, no. 11, pp. 1914-1925. [Online] DOI:
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