School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Dr Susanne Dietrich

  • Qualifications: PhD
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer
  • Address: St. Michael’s Building, White Swan Road Portsmouth PO1 2DT
  • Telephone: 023 9284
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


In 2011, I joined the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Portsmouth.  My research focuses on the molecular networks that control the simultaneous production of differentiating muscle cells and muscle stem cells.  I have established novel collaborations to accompany the work on the mouse and chicken model with work on zebrafish and Xenopus, aimed at identifying the basic, vertebrate specific regulatory mechanisms for muscle and muscle stem cell formation. Moreover, I have established collaborations to join “wet” laboratory work with “dry” bioinformatics.  Furthermore, I have established collaborations to investigate the assembly of functional organs, including the innervation of muscle and the contribution of multi-potent precursors to either head skeletal muscle or heart.  All of these collaborations have led to or are being prepared for publications.

My findings have made a significant contribution to the field of developmental biology and are well represented in text books such as the renowned Gilbert’s “Developmental Biology”; I am also regularly invited for seminars.  In 1998, I established the King’s College seminar series "Development and Evolution”.  In 2008, also at King’s, I founded a novel national conference for young researchers in the area of muscle developmental, cell and molecular biology.  Moreover, I was peer-selected to organise the 2009 Keystone muscle meeting “Making muscle in the embryo and the adult” in New York.  I am on the editorial board of the leading journals in my field, “Development” and “Developmental Biology”, and I am regularly invited by journals and research councils to peer-review publications and grant applications.

For more information about my research please visit my lab page

Teaching Responsibilities

In addition to my research, I am actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.  I have successfully coached six PhD and four visiting PhD students and five postdocs, and the majority of them are now pursuing independent careers in research.  At King’s, I designed and headed the postgraduate degree course “Craniofacial Biology, Development and Evolution” and the intercalated BSc Course “Craniofacial Sciences”.  At UoP, I have established a novel, heavily oversubscribed, undergraduate unit on Developmental Biology, and I also head the “Scientific Project” unit in the final year of the Biomedical Sciences BSc Course.  In 2009, I was invited to teach at the Brazilian Workshop on Developmental Biology and Embryology, held at Unicamp, Campinas SP. I regularly organise outreach activities with schools in my home borough of Kingston upon Thames, where I also carry out voluntary work with Kingston Athletic Club & Polytechnic Harriers, coaching youngsters in track and field athletics and managing the young athletes’ cross country team. I was awarded the Club’s Coaches Award in 2010.

Further qualifications: I have successfully completed the MRC Course for Biological Safety Officers (2003, with merit) and in 2006, 2007 and 2008, respectively, the Modules 1-4 (mammals), Modules 1-3 (fish), Modules 2,3 (hen’s eggs) for work under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Anatomical Society and of the British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB).


Tissue interactions and molecular networks that control

  • how a multi-potent mesodermal precursor cell commits to a particular cell fate
  • when a cell may differentiate
  • how the balance between cell differentiation and maintenance of a precursor/stem cell pool is achieved
  • how this cell recognises and reaches its target sites
  • how cells from different sources and tissues assemble into a functional organ

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile