Magdalena was educated in Poland at the University of Warsaw and in the United Kingdom at the University of Oxford before becoming a group leader at the University of Cambridge in 1997. She is now Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology at the University of Cambridge. She studies the development of the mammalian embryo – mouse and human - from the time of fertilisation until gastrulation, when the body shape and pattern first emerges. Her group discovered the earliest known events that change patterns of gene expression in order to set aside the embryo’s natural stem cells, the epiblast. Most recently Magdalena has developed a 3D culture platform that allows mouse and human embryo development outside the mother during the stage at which the embryo would normally implant into the uterus. This has revealed the previously unrecognised ability of the epiblast to respond to its surrounding extra-cellular matrix and become organised into a structure able to initiate body patterning. Magdalena’s work has been recognised by her election to Membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the United Kingdom.