Cristina Villa del Campo

Favourite Thing: Science is learning while playing! I love it when we are able to see proteins and cells in different colours using special microscopes.



Univeridad Complutense in Madrid


Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. MSC, PhD in Molecular and cellular Biology.

Work History:

I’ve worked in Madrid University, in the Spanish centre for Heart Research and in Oxford University

Current Job:

I am a postdoctoral researcher in Oxford University


Proff. Paul Riley (University of Oxford)

Me and my work

I work finding small vesicles to help regenerate the heart

The heart in humans and mammals is not able to replace muscle cells when they die, as opposed to what happens with other organs, like the liver or the intestine. And it is a very important organ!! That’s why heart diseases are so life threatening, our hearts can’t heal itself. I am working trying to find ways to stimulate cardiac muscle cells to divide again, like they do when the heart is growing in the embryo. I work isolating microscopic vesicles that contain signals to induce these cells to divide and protects them against cell death.

My Typical Day

Feed my cells, isolate little vesicles, use special microscopes to see how cells behave

What I'd do with the money

I’d invite students to the lab to spend a day with me doing experiments,feeding beating cells and using microscopes to see them

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Curious, playful, stubborn

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Mumford and sons

What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?

Scuba Diving in Spain. The sea is so amazing!

What did you want to be after you left school?

A scientist!

Were you ever in trouble at school?

I got in trouble for asking a lot of questions

What was your favourite subject at school?

Biology and languages (English, Spanish and German)

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

A liiiiiiittle contribution to what we know about how the heart forms

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

A book I read when I was young: The third twin, by Ken Follett

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

I would have love to be a translator and study how languages work. Always learning!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

More sunshine in England! To be able to always work in Science. To live in different countries in the world.

Tell us a joke.

This is a lame one but I can’t help but laugh: why did the mushroom go to the party? Because he’s a fun-ghi!!(I know, not the best)

Other stuff

Work photos: