Department of Pathology

Professor Christine Watson

Research description

A mammary gland terminal end bud fluorescently stained with antibodies to the cell adhesion protein E-cadherin (green) and the marker of proliferation PCNA (red) with the nuclei of the cells in blue.

Our research is focused on understanding two essential processes for mammary gland development: commitment of stem cells to the luminal and basal lineages and the execution of cell death and tissue remodelling during post-lactational regression (involution). We utilize a variety of genetic and molecular approaches coupled with an innovative 3-D co-culture model system. Our goals are to identify the signalling pathways and transcriptional regulators that control commitment of stem and progenitor cells to specific lineages and to determine the mechanisms of cell death during involution. We will use these insights to develop new therapeutics for breast cancer.