Isabelle Miletich DDS BSc MSc PhD (Group leader)
Isabelle Miletich obtained a DDS and a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Bordeaux, France, followed by a MSc and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Paris XI France, in 2000. She then spent 5 years at King’s College London as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Paul Sharpe. She was appointed Lecturer in the Department of Craniofacial Development and Stem Cell Biology in 2005.
I am interested in embryonic development of salivary glands. Salivary glands belong to two different groups of organs: ectodermal organs (including teeth, hair, mammary, sweat and sebaceous glands), which develop through constant and reciprocal interactions between an epithelium and a mesenchyme, and branching organs (including lungs, mammary glands, kidneys, pancreas and prostate), which use a branching process to increase the surface area of their epithelium in a confined space. As the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of each of these two groups of organs are highly conserved, we believe that what we learn about salivary gland development can help to understand the development of other ectodermal and branching organs.
Current research in the lab focuses on identifying new signaling pathways/molecules involved in salivary gland morphogenesis. We use transgenic mice as well as ex vivo cultures of salivary glands combined with RNAi knockdown, small molecule inhibitors and antibody-based blocking experiments to dissect the function of signaling pathways in developmental processes such as initiation of salivary gland formation or branching morphogenesis.