The London Research Institute research groups are based at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Clare Hall. Our major research themes are: the biology of tumours and tissues, cellular regulatory mechanisms and genomic integrity and cell cycle.
Fiona Watt : Keratinocytes
The Keratinocytes Laboratory led by Fiona Watt worked to understand how the proliferation, differentiation and tissue assembly of epidermal stem cells and their progeny are controlled, and how these processes are perturbed in cancer.
The epidermis consists of a multilayered epithelium, the interfollicular epidermis, and associated hair follicles, sweat glands and sebaceous gland. All of the different lineages within the epidermis are maintained through proliferation of a multipotent stem cell progeny. By investigating how stem cell renewal and differentiation are controlled, the lab aimed to identify new approaches to preventing and controlling tumours of the epidermis and other stratified squamous epithelia.
Fiona left the LRI to become the Deputy Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute.
Significant LRI Papers
- Takeda H, Lyle S, Lazar AJ, Zouboulis CC, Smyth I, Watt FM. Human sebaceous tumors harbor inactivating mutations in LEF1. Nat Med. 2006;12(4):395-7 (Abstract)
- Janes SM, Watt FM. New roles for integrins in squamous-cell carcinoma. Nat Rev Cancer. 2006;6(3):175-83 (Abstract)
- Silva-Vargas V, Lo Celso C, Giangreco A, Ofstad T, Prowse DM, Braun KM and Watt FM. Beta-catenin and Hedgehog signal strength can specify number and location of hair follicles in adult epidermis without recruitment of Bulge stem cells. Dev Cell. 2005;9:121-131 (Abstract)
- Benitah SA, Frye M, Glogauer M, Watt FM. Stem cell depletion through epidermal deletion of Rac1. Science. 2005;309:933-935 (Abstract)
- Jadeja S, Smyth I, Pitera JE, Taylor MS, van Haelst M, Bentley E, McGregor L, Hopkins J, Chalepakis G, Philip N, Perez Aytes A, Watt FM, Darling SM, Jackson I, Woolf AS, Scambler PJ. Identification of a new gene mutated in Fraser syndrome and mouse myelencephalic blebs. Nat Genet. 2005;37(5):520-5 (Abstract)