Alexandre Francou, PhD

Senior Research Scientist
Alexandre Francou

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Education & Training
2020-present: Research Associate, MSKCC Sloan Kettering Institute, Developmental Biology Department (Kathryn Anderson lab, Kat Hadjantonakis lab)
2016-2020: Research Fellow at MSKCC Sloan Kettering Institute, Developmental Biology Department, (Kathryn Anderson lab)
2010-2015: PhD student, Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille (Robert Kelly lab)

Research Interests
I am widely interested in tissue morphogenesis during embryo development, with a specific interest in the cell biology of polarity and cell movement associated with morphogenesis.  Currently, my research is focused on the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal transition during mouse gastrulation. One major aspect of my project is the quantitative dynamic analysis of cell ingression, specifically focused on the apical constriction associated with cell ingression, and how some apical proteins regulate this process.  This project is providing new insight to better understand cancer cell EMT and dissemination, as these may use similar mechanisms to undergo cell shape changes.


Francou A and Anderson KV. The Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal transition in development and cancer. Annual Review of Cancer Biology, Vol. 4, 2020, p. 197-220. (In press).

Cortes C, Francou A, De Bono C, Kelly RG (2018). Epithelial Properties of the Second Heart Field. Circ Res. Jan 5;122(1):142-154. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.310838. Review. PubMed PMID: 29301846.

Francou A, De Bono C, Kelly RG (2017). Epithelial tension in the second heart field promotes mouse heart tube elongation. Nat Commun. Mar 30;8:14770. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14770. PubMed PMID: 28357999; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5379109.