Margaret Buckingham

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Margaret Buckingham

Born (1945-03-02) 2 March 1945 (age 74)
Citizenshipdual French-British
Alma materUniversity of Oxford

Margaret Buckingham, ForMemRS, is a developmental biologist working in the fields of myogenesis and cardiogenesis. She is a professor emeritus at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and exceptional grade senior researcher emeritus at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique.[1] She is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, the Academia Europaea and the French Academy of Sciences.


Margaret Buckingham was educated in Scotland and at Oxford University where she obtained B.A., M.A. and D.Phil. degrees in Biochemistry. As a postdoc, she then joined François Gros at the Pasteur Institute in Paris where she subsequently pursued her scientific career. She is currently honorary professor at the Pasteur Institute and emeritus research director in the CNRS. She is a member of the scientific council of the ERC[2] and chairs the prize committee of the Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation for cardiovascular research. In 2013, she was awarded the gold medal of the CNRS[3] [4]. She is a member of the French Academy of sciences[5], a foreign/honorary member of the Royal Society of London/Edinburgh and a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. She is alo a member of EMBO and of the Academia Europaea[6]. She has French and British nationality, and is married with three children.

Scientific research[edit]

Margaret Buckingham is a developmental biologist who is interested in how naïve multipotent cells acquire tissue specificity during embryogenesis. She has studied both the formation of skeletal muscle and of the heart, using the tools of mouse molecular genetics to characterise cell behaviour and to identify the genes that govern cell fate choices.

From pioneering research on the in vivo expression, structure and regulation of muscle genes[7], she and her lab went on to study the myogenic regulatory factors[8], showing that Myf5 is present before MyoD in the embryo and that in the absence of Myf5 and Mrf4, cells fail to form skeletal muscle and acquire other mesodermal cell fates[9]. Characterisation of Myf5 enhancers revealed a direct role for Pax3 in their transcriptional activation at different sites of myogenesis[10]. From genetic screens, they identified other Pax3 targets, demonstrating the central role of Pax3 in the gene regulatory network that leads to the onset of myogenesis in the embryo[11] [12]. They discovered a population of Pax3/Pax7-positive progenitors that are essential for foetal muscle development[13] and showed that Pax-positive satellite cells associated with adult fibres constitute stem cells for muscle regeneration[14]. They identified genes, including Pitx2/3, that affect the behaviour of these cells and showed that Myf5 mRNA, present in quiescent satellite cells is sequestered until these cells are activated after injury[15].

Her main contribution to cardiogenesis is the identification of the second heart field (SHF) as a major source of cardiac progenitor cells that form specific regions of the heart[16] [17]. The behaviour of these cells is controlled by gene regulatory networks and signalling pathways, exemplified by the FGF10 gene[18]. Retrospective clonal analysis complemented their work on the SHF and established a lineage tree for the myocardium, where the second lineage defines the SHF contribution whereas the first lineage contributes all the left ventricular myocardium[19]. This analysis revealed the clonal relationships between different sublineages that contribute to both cardiac muscle at the poles of the heart and anterior skeletal muscles[12] [20] which are not under Pax3-control [12] [21]. In addition to its conceptual importance for cardiogenesis, this work also has biomedical implications for congenital heart malformations.

Awards and honours[edit]

External Links[edit]

Amsen, Eva (2011-01-25). "An interview with Margaret Buckingham: President of the French Society of Developmental Biology". Development. The Company of Biologists Ltd. Retrieved 2019-05-06.


  1. ^ "Developmental biologist Margaret Buckingham is awarded the 2013 CNRS Gold Medal". Consulate General of France in Vancouver. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  2. ^ "ERC".
  3. ^ Communiqué de presse du CNRS publié le 18 septembre 2013.
  4. ^ "Article La Croix, Médaille d'or du CNRS".
  5. ^ "Académie des sciences".
  6. ^ "Academia europaea".
  7. ^ Robert, B., Daubas, P., Akimenko, M.A., Cohen, A., Garner, I., Guénet, J.-L., & Buckingham, M., « A single locus in the mouse encodes both myosin light chains 1 and 3, a second locus corresponds to a related pseudogene », Cell,‎ (1984), 39, p. 129-140
  8. ^ Sassoon, D., Lyons, G., Wright, W.E., Lin, V., Lassar, A., Weintraub, H., & Buckingham, M., « Expression of two myogenic regulatory factors myogenin and MyoD1 during mouse embryogenesis », Nature,‎ (1989), 341, p. 303-307
  9. ^ Tajbakhsh, S., Rocancourt, D., & Buckingham, M., « Muscle progenitor cells failing to respond to positional cues adopt non-myogenic fates in myf-5 null mice », Nature,‎ (1996), 384, p. 266-270
  10. ^ Bajard, L., Relaix, F., Lagha, M., Rocancourt, D., Daubas, P., & Buckingham, M.E., « A novel genetic hierarchy functions during hypaxial myogenesis : Pax3 directly activates Myf5 in muscle progenitor cells in the limb », Genes & Dev.,‎ (2006), 20, p. 2450-2464
  11. ^ Lagha, M., Brunelli, S., Messina, G., Kume, T., Relaix, F., & Buckingham, M.E., « Pax3/7:Foxc2 reciprocal repression in the somite modulates multipotent stem cell fates », Dev. Cell,‎ (2009), 17, p. 892-899
  12. ^ a b c Buckingham, M., « Gene regulatory networks and cell lineages that underlie the formation of skeletal muscle », Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA,‎ (2017), 114, p. 5830-5837
  13. ^ Relaix, F., Rocancourt, D., Mansouri, A., & Buckingham, M.A., « A Pax3/Pax7-dependent population of skeletal muscle progenitor cells », Nature,‎ (2005), 435, p. 948-953
  14. ^ Montarras, D., Morgan, J., Collins, C., Relaix, F., Zaffran, S., Cumano, A., Partridge, T., & Buckingham, M., « Direct isolation of satellite cells for skeletal muscle regeneration », Science,‎ (2005), 309, p. 2064-2067
  15. ^ Crist, C., Montarras, D., & Buckingham, M., « Muscle satellite cells are primed for myogenesis, but maintain quiescence with sequestration of Myf5 mRNA targeted by microRNA-31 in mRNP granules », Cell Stem Cell.,‎ (2012), 11, p. 118-126
  16. ^ Kelly, R., Brown, N., & Buckingham, M., « The arterial pole of the mouse heart forms from Fgf10 expressing precursor cells in pharyngeal mesoderm », Dev. Cell.,‎ (2001), 1, p. 435-440
  17. ^ Buckingham, M., Meilhac, S., & Zaffran, S., « Building the mammalian heart from two sources of myocardial cells », Nat. Rev. Genet,‎ (2005), 6, p. 826-835
  18. ^ Watanabe, Y., Zaffran, S., Kuroiwa, A., Higuchi, H., Ogura, T., Harvey, R.P., Kelly, R.G., & Buckingham, M., « Fibroblast growth factor 10 gene regulation in the second heart field by Tbx1, Nkx2-5, and Islet1, reveals a genetic switch for down-regulation in the myocardium », Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA,‎ (2012), 109, p. 18273-18280
  19. ^ Meilhac, S.M., Esner, M., Kelly, R.G., Nicolas, J-F., & Buckingham, M.E., « The clonal origin of myocardial cells in different regions of the embryonic mouse heart », Dev. Cell,‎ (2004), 6, p. 685-698
  20. ^ Lescroart, F., Kelly, R.G., Le Garrec, J.-F., Nicolas, J.-F., Meilhac, S.M., & Buckingham, M., « Clonal analysis reveals common lineage relationships between head muscles and second heart field derivatives in the mouse embryo », Development,‎ (2010), 137, p. 3269-3279
  21. ^ Tajbakhsh, S., Rocancourt, D., Cossu, G., & Buckingham, M., « Redefining the genetic hierarchies controlling skeletal myogenesis: Pax-3 and myf-5 act upstream of MyoD », Cell,‎ (1997), 89, p. 127-138
  22. ^ "Professor Margaret Elizabeth Buckingham FRS, HonFRSE". The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  23. ^ ARTIFICA (18 September 2013). "Developmental biologist Margaret Buckingham is awarded the 2013 CNRS Gold Medal". CNRS (in French). Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  24. ^ CNRS (1999). "Les quinze lauréats de la Médaille d'argent du CNRS 1999". Retrieved 21 February 2014. External link in |website= (help)