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Prof Franck Pichaud
University College London, LMCB
Gower street
Prof Franck Pichaud profile picture
  • Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Lab for Molecular Cell Bio MRC-UCL
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

I started my scientific career at the French INSERM unit 349 (university Paris6), in Paris, completing a PhD in Biochemistry in the Moukhtar/Jullienne Lab. During this time I studied the mechanisms of osteoclast cell differentiation. These large multinucleate cells are essential for the maintenance, repair, and remodelling of bones of the vertebrate skeleton. I discovered that prostaglandins were important regulators of osteoclast differentiation in humans, and completed my PhD in 1997.  During my PhD, I became interested in using genetics and model organisms to study cells in vivo.  This prompted me to move to the Rockefeller University (NYC), as a post doc in the lab of Claude Desplan, to study the mechanisms of cell fate specification during development.  In the Desplan lab, I used the genetically amenable fly eye to study how different classes of photoreceptors are born and differentiate.  During this time, I became fascinated with cell morphogenesis, and in particular with how cells become polarised to support organ function.  I started my lab at UCL in 2003, at the LMCB, where I decided to study the mechanism of polarised cell and tissue morphogenesis during organogenesis.

Research Summary

Our objective is to understand how different cell types work together to generate polarised tissue organisation, to support organ function. We make use of Drosophila genetics to reveal fundamental mechanisms and discover new pathways of cell and tissue morphogenesis. 

Teaching Summary

Cell Signaling in Health and Disease, Lecture and JC, UCL (PHOL3004); 

Epithelial Function in Health and Disease, Lecture and JC UCL (PHOL3016); 
Mechanisms of Development, Lecture UCL (ANAT3003); Drosophila Practical (ANAT3005); Developmental Biology, tutorial series, PhD program MRC LMCB; 
Cytoskeleton tutorial series, PhD program, MRC LMCB

01-JUN-2013 Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology LMCB UCL, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2007 – 01-JUN-2013 Tenured Group leader- MRC Cell Biology Unit LMCB UCL, United Kingdom
01-JUN-2003 – 01-OCT-2007 Career track- MRC Cell Biology Unit, UCL LMCB UCL, United Kingdom
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