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Habilitation À Diriger Des Recherches Year : 2012

University habilitation to direct research



Born and educated for the most part in the United States, I have enjoyed the luxury of excellent mentorship during my career thus far as an independent scientist in France. All these mentors have taken it on trust that my training for a Ph.D. also included the necessary tools for directing original research responsibly, at all levels. However, the habilitation is an obligate rite of passage for researchers in France, Germany, Sweden and a number of other European countries. It ensures both that I am competent to not only continue to conduct original research, and that I have a directive seam in my research interests over time that is sufficiently rich to support myself and those trainees who will learn from my experience and contribute their efforts by my side to advancing science. To demonstrate that the faith of these esteemed colleagues has been well-placed since my Ph.D., I hereby present, to the best of my ability, my acquired credentials and my near- to mid-term projects. The over-arching theme of my work has been to identify molecular hallmarks and improve the physiopathological understanding of congenital and progressive conditions implicating a highly plastic embryological cell population known as the neural crest. These neural crest cells (NCC) participate directly or indirectly in the formation of a stunning array of tissues organs during embryogenesis. When the genes regulating the differentiation, proliferation, or migratory and appropriately invasive behavior of NCC are muted, this can lead to associations of pediatric congenital malformations or tumorigenesis. I make use of avian and, more recently, murine models, as well as careful observations effected on tissues derived from normal human embryos, to tease apart those mechanisms.
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Dates and versions

tel-00709758 , version 1 (19-06-2012)


  • HAL Id : tel-00709758 , version 1


Heather Etchevers. University habilitation to direct research. Embryology and Organogenesis. Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II, 2012. ⟨tel-00709758⟩


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