Professor Margaret Buckingham ForMemRS
Professor at the Pasteur Institute and Research Director in the CNRS, Department of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, CNRS URA 2578, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Margaret Buckingham is a leading developmental biologist, in the fields of myogenesis and cardiogenesis. She first established how actin and myosin genes of striated muscles are expressed and regulated and then, using mouse molecular genetics, showed how myogenic cell fate is determined prior to skeletal muscle formation. In particular, her discovery of a Pax3/Pax7 dependent population of muscle stem cells is of major importance. She has gone on to identify Pax3 target genes that give new insights into stem cell biology. Her work on myogenesis extends to muscle regeneration in the adult, with the demonstration of the role of the satellite cell. She has identified the second heart field as a novel source of myocardial cells, complemented by her demonstration of two distinct myocardial cell lineages. This finding has had major conceptual impact on understanding cardiogenesis and congenital heart defects.