Isabelle Migeotte

Our research

Our research studies the cellular, molecular, and mechanical mechanisms of coordinated migration, in which cells are physically and/or functionally connected, using the early mouse embryo as a model.

Collective migration is essential for morphogenetic movements during embryogenesis, as well as for major physiological (such as wound healing) and pathological (such as cancer invasion) processes during adult life. The peri-gastrulation mouse embryo is a relatively simple structure composed of a limited number of distinguishable cell types, wich allows studying specific cell populations in their physiological context.

In particular, we focus on  Anterior Visceral Endoderm migration as a model of epithelial collective migration, and Mesoderm migration as a model of epithelial-mesenchymal transition followed by cell sheet migration. We use quantitative live imaging and transcriptomics to decipher the determinants of early morphogenesis, the ultimate goal being to reproduce in vitro the extracellular milieu that will drive endoderm and mesoderm cells towards a particular fate.

Nahaboo and Migeotte, eLS 2018)

Group members

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

phone # +32 (0)2 555 3017

Isabelle Migeotte graduated as a Medical Doctor (1998), received her PhD in Medical Sciences (2005) and was certified in internal medicine in 2005, specialised in medical genetics, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. Isabelle performed a postdoctoral training in Kathryn Anderson’s laboratory, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NY, USA (2005-2010).

Isabelle is a FNRS Research Associate, IRIBHM, ULB and a Consultant in Medical Genetics, Hôpital Erasme, ULB

Jessica Mathiah – PhD student

Navrita Mathiah received a master degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2012 from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). After performing a master thesis in Cédric Blanpain’s lab, Navrita joined the laboratory in October 2012 to begin a PhD program and is a recipient of the FRIA/FNRS research fellowship.Her work aims to better understand the molecular and cellular events leading to primitive streak and mesoderm layer formation during mouse embryonic development.

Bechara Saykali – PhD student

Bechara Saykali received his Masters in Molecular and Cell Biology from the Lebanese American University in 2013. During his master’s, he studied cell motility in cancer and the role of Rho GTPases in metastasis. He joined our Lab in 2014 as a PhD student after acquiring a scholarship awarded By Phoenix, Erasmus Mundus. He then received a FRIA scholarship, awarded by FNRS. Bechara is currently working on characterizing mesoderm development in mouse embryos.

Diana Suarez Boomgaard, PhD – postdoctoral fellow

In 2014 she joined our laboratory where she is studying the role of the small Rho GTPases in collective migration during early mouse development. In particular, she is focused on the Anterior Viceral Endoderm migration that takes place early after embryo implantation.Diana Suárez Boomgaard obtained her PhD in the University of Málaga in 2013. During her PhD, she focused on the role of the dopaminergic D4 receptors interaction with the endogenous opioid system in the rat brain.

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.Just after her PhD defence, in April 2016, she joined our lab as a postdoc. She is currently working on cell migration in mouse embryos development: She focuses on quantitative analysis of imaging data, as well as develops tools to study mechanical forces in the gastrulating embryo.

Marie-Lucie Racu – Medical Student
Latifa Hammou – Technician


Selected Publications

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.