Photo of Guilherme Costa

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

We are looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic students to embark on a PhD project that addresses questions in the fields of messenger (m)RNA localisation and local translation in the context of angiogenesis. Your work will help to answer how and why particular mRNAs are translated into proteins at the front of endothelial cells as they migrate to form new blood vessels. Your project will be carried out in an exciting and collaborative environment at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, where you will work next to worldwide experts in the field of vascular research.


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Focus

My research focuses on the spatial regulation of gene expression in the context of endothelial biology. I investigate how RNAs are transported in endothelial cells, how protein synthesis is regulated within subcellular domains and how these mechanisms regulate blood vessel development and function.

Research Interests

RNA localisation and localised protein synthesis are fundamental steps between gene transcription and protein activity. This mode of post-transcriptional control of gene expression has major implications in cell behaviour and function. I am interested in understanding how such aspects of RNA biology within endothelial cells regulate blood vessels during development and disease. Thus, I investigate 1) the mechanisms underlying the transport of RNAs to particular subcellular regions in endothelial cells, 2) the role of localised protein translation from targeted messenger RNAs in endothelial cell biology and 3) how VEGF signalling may orchestrate both RNA localisation and local translation. To address these themes, I combine in vitro and in vivo models in combination with imaging and molecular biology approaches that allow testing whether such subcellular events of the RNA life cycle participate in crucial aspects of endothelial function. Ultimately, these studies will contribute to further understanding complex biological processes underpinning blood vessel formation, maintenance and pathology.


Developmental biology

Vascular biology

RNA localisation

Local protein synthesis


2019 Lecturer in Endothelial Biology, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

2017 Dean’s Prize: Early Career Researcher Award, University of Manchester, UK

2011 PhD in Medical Sciences, University of Manchester, UK


2018 Academic tutor, Biomedical Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

2017 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK

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Research Output

mRNA compartmentalisation spatially orients tissue morphogenesis

Costa, G., Bradbury, J., Tarannum, N. & Herbert, S., 11 Aug 2019, (Submitted)

Research output: Other contribution

  • Sending messages in moving cells: mRNA localization and the regulation of cell migration

    Herbert, S. P. & Costa, G., Oct 2019, In : Essays in Biochemistry. 63, 5, p. 595-606 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Endothelial cells divide unequally to sprout fairly

    Costa, G., Lovegrove, H. & Herbert, S., 10 Mar 2017, In : Cell Cycle . 16, 7, p. 595-596 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Asymmetric division coordinates collective cell migration in angiogenesis

    Costa, G., Harrington, K., Lovegrove, H., Page, D., Chakravartula, S., Bentley, K. & Herbert, S., 21 Nov 2016, In : Nature Cell Biology. 18, p. 1292–1301 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 37 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)

    Interplay between SOX7 and RUNX1 regulates hemogenic endothelial fate in the yolk sac

    Lilly, A. J., Costa, G., Largeot, A., Fadlullah Wilmot, M., Lie-A-Ling, M., Lacaud, G. & Kouskoff, V., 29 Nov 2016, In : Development.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 12 Citations (Scopus)


    Dean’s Prize: Early Career Researcher Award

    Costa, Guilherme (Recipient), Jul 2017

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    First Prize Winner BSCB/BSDB Joint Spring Meeting – poster presentation

    Costa, Guilherme (Recipient), Apr 2016

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    PhD grant, Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology

    Costa, Guilherme (Recipient), Jan 2007

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    RNA Society Travel Fellowship

    Costa, Guilherme (Recipient), 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    • 3 Oral presentation
    • 2 Participation in conference
    • 2 Membership of network

    mRNA localisation controls endothelial cell morphology and behaviour during angiogenesis

    Guilherme Costa (Advisor)


    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Cellular localisation of mRNA and local translation during angiogenesis

    Guilherme Costa (Advisor)


    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    RNA Society (External organisation)

    Guilherme Costa (Advisor)

    2018 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of network

    mRNA localisation in angiogenesis

    Guilherme Costa (Advisor)


    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    EMBO/EMBL Symposium: The Complex Life of RNA

    Guilherme Costa (Participant)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference