Dr Ivo Lieberam joined King’s College London (KCL) in 2009 and moved to the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine in 2015. During his PhD thesis in Prof Klaus Rajewsky’s group at the Institute for Genetics (University of Cologne, Germany), he studied antigen presenting cells and their communication with T lymphocytes. Then, he shifted his interest to developmental neuroscience and joined the group of Prof Thomas Jessell (Columbia University, New York, USA). In the Jessell group, he investigated the role of the chemokine receptor Cxcr4 in CNS exit point choice, a crucial step in motor axon guidance. Together with Dr Hynek Wichterle, he also developed a method that allows the direct differentiation of motor neurons from embryonic stem cells. This approach has become an important research tool for scientists studying normal motor neuron development and degenerative diseases which affect motor neurons.