Isabelle Migeotte

Our research

The laboratory is devoted to the study of cell and cytoskeleton dynamics during early mammalian embryo development. We have two main themes of research: the mechanisms of gastrulation Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition at the Primitive Streak after establishment of the anterior-posterior axis, and the subsequent morphogenesis of mesoderm-derived structures.

In collaboration with University of Cambridge, we participated to a study regarding the relationship between Anterior Visceral Endoderm migration and basal membrane perforation at the posterior side of the embryo at the initiation of gastrulation. We developed tools to observe epithelial-mesenchymal migration (EMT) at the Primitive Streak prior to mesoderm formation, and identified an asymmetry in mitosis frequency and position, suggesting a role for cell cycle in cell delamination. Current projects aim to better understand the mechanisms implicated in epithelial destabilization during gastrulation EMT, notably the implication of interkinetic nuclear migration, mitosis, and basal membrane degradation.

The lab has established original techniques for live imaging of post-implantation mouse embryos, as well as image analysis. Mechanistically, we focus on the role of cytoskeleton and mechanical forces. We previously identified differences in the patterns and mechanisms of mesoderm migration depending on whether mesoderm cells formed embryonic tissues or migrated to participate to extra-embryonic envelopes such as the amnion, umbilical cord, or placenta. Ongoing projects aim to gain insight into the mechanisms behind extra-embryonic mesoderm differentiation and the first steps of extra-embryonic structures morphogenesis, through a combination of a novel in vitro mesoderm culture method, single-cell sequencing, electron microscopy, and ex vivo embryo live imaging.


Fondation Erasme
Phoenix Erasmus
Fonds David et Alice van Buuren
Fondation Jaumotte-Demoulin

Group members

Isabelle Migeotte – Principal Investigator  Research Associate F.N.R.S (

phone # +32 (0)2 555 3017

Isabelle is a MD PhD from Université Libre de Bruxelles, certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Genetics. She trained in Developmental Biology with Kathryn Anderson in Sloan-Kettering Institute in NYC. She is a FNRS Research Associate and Principal Investigator at IRIBHM since 2012, focused on understanding the cellular mechanisms of mouse embryo morphogenesis around gastrulation. In parallel, she is consultant at the ULB Centre of Human Genetics, with clinical (medical genetics consults) and research (diagnostic techniques/ gene discovery in clinical cohorts) interests.

Wallis Nahaboo, PhD – postdoctoral fellow

After completing her biomedical engineer diploma (PHELMA, Grenoble INP), Wallis started her Phd in Delattre lab in ENS Lyon, France. She worked on the forces that drive chromosome segregation in C. elegans embryos. Wallis is interested in studying live cell dynamics and specifically the cytoskeleton. She joined the lab in April 2016. She focuses on quantitative analysis of imaging and transcriptomics data, and develops tools to study mechanical forces in the gastrulating embryo.


Evangéline Despin-Guitard, PhD Student

Evangéline received a master degree in Cell biology and development in 2018 from the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France.  She did her master thesis within Eric Theveneau, at the Center for Developmental Biology in Toulouse, where she studied epithelial to mesenchymal transition during neural crest delamination in the avian embryo. She joined the Migeotte Lab in January 2019 under a Welbio fellowship and obtained a FRIA/FNRS scholarship in October 2019. Evangéline work focuses on the relationship between cell cycle and epithelial to mesenchymal transition during gastrulation in the mouse embryo.


Agathe Denys

Marie-Lucie Racu

Latifa Hammou

Diana Suarez Boomgaard, PhD

Navrita Mathiah,PhD

Bechara Saykali,PhD


Selected Publications

Nahaboo W, Saykali B, Mathiah N, Migeotte I. (2020) Visualizing Mouse Embryo Gastrulation Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition Through Single Cell Labeling Followed by Ex Vivo Whole Embryo Live Imaging. Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2179:135-144. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0779-4_12.PMID: 32939718

N. Mathiah, E. Despin-Guitard, M. Stower, W. Nahaboo, E. S. Eski, S. P. Singh, S. Srinivas, and I. Migeotte, “Asymmetry in the frequency and position of mitosis in the mouse embryo epiblast at gastrulation”,  EMBO Rep, vol. 9, no. n/a, p. 317, Oct. 2020.

 Q. Zhang et al. “Inborn errors of type I IFN immunity in patients with life-threatening COVID-19,” Science Sep. 2020, p. eabd4570. (Migeotte. I, IRIBHM)

Kyprianou, C., Christodoulou, N., Hamilton, R. S., Nahaboo, W., Suárez-Boomgaard, D., Amadei, G., Migeotte, I., & Zernicka-Goetz, M. Basement membrane remodelling regulates mouse embryogenesis.   (2020) Nature (London), 582(7811), 253-258. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2264-2

Delavallée, L., Mathiah, N., Cabon, L., Mazeraud, A., Brunelle-Navas, M.-N., Lerner,L. L., Tannoury, M., Prola, A., Moreno-Loshuertos, R., Baritaud, M., Vela, L., Garbin, K., Garnier, D., Lemaire, C., Langa-Vives,F., Cohen-Salmon, M., Fernández-Silva, P., Chretien, F., Migeotte, I., & Susin, S. A. Mitochondrial AIF loss causes metabolic reprogramming, caspase-independent cell death blockade, embryonic lethality, and perinatal hydrocephalus  (2020). M. Molecular metabolism, 40, 101027. doi:10.1016/ j.molmet.2020.101027

Saykali, B., Nahaboo, W., Mathiah, N., Racu, M.-L., Defrance, M., & Migeotte, I. (2019). Distinct mesoderm migration phenotypes in extra-embryonic and embryonic regions of the early mouse embryo. eLife, 8, e42434. doi:10.7554/eLife.42434.001

Nahaboo, Wallis, and Migeotte, Isabelle (2018) Cleavage and Gastrulation in the Mouse Embryo. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0001068.pub3

Browet, A. A., De Vleeschouwer, C., Jacques, L. L., Mathiah, N., Saykali, B., & Migeotte, I. (2016). Cell segmentation with random ferns and graph-cuts. Proceedings – International Conference on Image Processing, 7533140, 4145-4149. doi:10.1109/ICIP.2016.7533140

Mazari, E., Zhao, X., Migeotte, I., Collignon, J., Gosse, C., & Perea-Gomez, A. (2014). A microdevice to locally electroporate embryos with high efficiency and reduced cell damage. Development, , dev.106633.

Zhao, X., Mazari, E., Suárez-Boomgaard, D. D., Migeotte, I., Perea-Gomez, A., & Gosse, C. (2014). Finite element model simulations to assist the design of microdevices dedicated to the localized electroporation of mouse embryos. E C S Transactions, 64(16), 7 14. doi:10.1149/06416.0007ecst

Simonis, N., Migeotte, I., Lambert, N., Perazzolo, C., de Silva, D. C., Dimitrov, B., Heinrichs, C., Janssens, S., Kerr, B., Mortier, G., Van Vliet, G., Lepage, P., Casimir, G., Abramowicz, M., Smits, G., & Vilain, C. (2013, June). FGFR1 mutations cause Hartsfield syndrome, the unique association of holoprosencephaly and ectrodactyly. Journal of medical genetics50(9), 585-592. doi:10.1136/jmedgenet-2013-101603

Bloomekatz, J., Grego-Bessa, J., Migeotte, I., & Anderson, K. V. (2012). Pten regulates collective cell migration during specification of the anterior-posterior axis of the mouse embryo. Developmental Biology364(2), 192–201.

Migeotte, I., Grego-Bessa, J., & Anderson, K. V. (2011). Rac1 mediates morphogenetic responses to intercellular signals in the gastrulating mouse embryo. Development (Cambridge, England)138(14), 3011–3020.

Lee, J. D., Migeotte, I., & Anderson, K. V. (2010). Left-right patterning in the mouse requires Epb4.1l5-dependent morphogenesis of the node and midline. Developmental Biology346(2), 237–246.

Migeotte, I., Omelchenko, T., Hall, A., & Anderson, K. V. (2010). Rac1-dependent collective cell migration is required for specification of the anterior-posterior body axis of the mouse. PLoS Biology8(8), 37–38.