Ruth Arkell currently heads the Early Mammalian Development Laboratory. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney (BSc, Hons) and commenced doctoral studies in Mouse Molecular Embryology in 1992 at Edinburgh University. These studies were completed at the Institute for Medical Research in London in 1996. In order to capitalize on the new opportunities which would arise once the mouse genome sequence was available she pursued postdoctoral research training (in London and Oxfordshire) in mouse functional genetics. In 2000 she was awarded a UK MRC Career Development Award and established a research group in Oxfordshire to study gene function during mouse gastrulation. In 2006 she was a Sylvia and Charles Viertel Senior Medical Fellowship recipient and moved her research to The Australian National University. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Australian and New Zealand Young Investigator Award. She continues to utilize embryology and functional genetics to study the molecular and embryological basis of congenital defects that have their aetiology in gastrulation.