Contact Details

  • microRNA control of Hox gene networks
  • Genomic/epigenomic regulation of axis elongation and vertebral patterning
  • Formation and patterning of spinal cord circuitry
  • Evolutionary acquisition of microRNAs shapes developmental networks


The McGlinn Group focuses on elucidating novel gene networks that drive growth and identity in the early embryo and is particularly interested in critical developmental regulators, the Hox genes, and how microRNAs shape Hox functional output during formation of the vertebral column and spinal cord.

They use elegant mouse genetics coupled with cutting-edge functional genomics technologies to unravel novel gene networks and mechanisms of regulation.

Developmental gene networks

The accuracy and reproducibility with which the vertebrate embryo develops is remarkable. Our lab investigates how developmental gene networks are regulated, both at a transcriptional and post-transcriptional level, to achieve such exquisite reproducibility. 

Our lab continues to make seminal contributions to the understanding of how microRNA regulatory mechanisms contribute to refining or stabilising Hox functional output in mouse, how this relates to human disease and how differences in microRNA acquisition between species may shape differences in morphology.

In particular, we are interested in how the developmental modules that define total vertebral number are integrated with those that impart vertebral identity. Moreover, our lab has developed novel genetic tools to address critical questions regarding formation and function of neurons within the spinal cord that relay sensory information directly to the brain. 

Fluorescent transgenic reporter in mouse reveals dynamic Hox gene expression boundaries
Expression of miR-10 in the developing snake, Ophiophagus Hannah.
Neural networks of the spinal cord


Edwina McGlinn was an EMBL Australia Partner Network Lab Group Leader, based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University. Edwina completed a PhD in developmental and molecular biology (1999-2004) with Associate Professor Carol Wicking at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience UQ, identifying novel downstream effectors of Sonic hedgehog in the developing mouse limb. She then became a research fellow in the laboratory of Professor Clifford Tabin, Harvard Medical School USA (2004-2010), elucidating genetic networks involved in patterning the vertebrate limb and axial skeleton. 

View Edwina McGlinn's ORCID profile.

Highlight publications

Published In

Coughlan E, Garside VC, Wong SFL, Liang H, Kraus D, Karmakar K, Maheshwari U, Rijli FM, Bourne J, McGlinn E.

Cell Reports (2019) 29(8):2408-2421.

Wong SF, Agarwal V, Mansfield JH, Denans N, Schwartz MG, Prosser HM, Pourquié O, Bartel DP, Tabin CJ, McGlinn E.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2015) 112:E4884-93.

Casaca A, Hauswirth GM, Bildsoe H, Mallo M, McGlinn E.

International Journal of Developmental Biology (2019) 62(11-12):693-704.

Jansz N, Keniry AJ, Trussart M, Bildsoe H, Beck T, Tonks ID, Mould AW, Hickey P, Breslin K, Iminitoff M, Speed T, Ritchie ME, McGlinn E, Kay GF, Murphy JM, Blewitt ME.

Nature Structural and Molecular Biology (2018) 25(9):766-777.

Meyer SE, Muench DE, Rogers AM, Newkold TJ, Orr E, O’Brien E, Perentesis JP, Doench JG, Lal A, Morris PJ, Thomas CJ, Lieberman J, McGlinn E, Aronow BJ, Salomonis N, Grimes HL.

Journal of Experimental Medicine (2018) 215(8):2115-2136.


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A full list of Edwina McGlinn’s publications can be viewed on ORCID.