The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences
(023) 8059 2985

Dr Salah Elias BSc, MSc, PhD

Lecturer in Epithelial Cell Biology, Principle Investigator: Cell division and mammary stem cell biology

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Dr Salah Elias is Lecturer in Epithelial Cell Biology within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Career History

2017-present: Lecturer in Epithelial Cell Biology. Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2014-2017: Research Associate. Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, UK.
2010-2014: Postdoctoral Fellow. Curie Institute, Paris, France.

Academic Qualifications

2010: PhD Cell Biology and Neurobiology. University of Rouen, France.
2006: MSc (Hons) Cell Biology and Physiology. University of Rouen, France.
2004: BSc (Hons) Cell Biology and Physiology. University of Rouen, France.





Research interests

The mammary gland, a defining feature of mammals, is a specialized organ that produces and delivers milk from the mother to the newborn. The gland develops predominantly after birth and undergoes massive growth and turnover during the reproductive cycle. The mammary tissue is accessible; it can be cultured, genetically manipulated and transplanted; and its resident basal stem cells (MaSCs) possess potent regenerative capacity. These cells must balance proliferation and differentiation programs to generate the myriad of cell types that comprise the mammary tissue. Nonetheless, the mechanisms that dictate these choices remain poorly understood.

We recently showed that oriented cell divisions and polarity are critical mechanisms for MaSCs to contribute to mammary gland development. Our current research focuses on addressing key questions of how spindle orientation and cell prolarity are controlled during development, the role asymmetric cell division (ACD) plays in epithelial differentiation, and the signalling pathways ACD influences. To accomplish this, we combine powerful in vivo and ex vivo methodologies including in situ single-cell lineage tracing in the intact mammary gland; 3D organoids where mammary gland biology can be faithfully modelled; high-resolution 3D imaging strategies; cell and molecular biology approaches; and proteomics and next generation sequencing.

We believe that unravelling the genetic and developmental mechanisms controlling ACD in the mammary gland will be essential not only for advancing our understanding of normal epithelial biology, but also for elucidating how an imbalance in self-renewal and differentiation can contribute to the abnormal stem cell behaviour and epithelial architecture observed in breast cancer.

Research group

Biomedical Sciences

Affiliate research group

Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Research project(s)

The genetics and developmental biology of cell division in mammary stem cells



BIOL2003 Vertebrate Development
BIOL3006 Cell and Developmental Biology

Dr Salah Elias
Biological Sciences
Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Room Number:85/3037

Telephone:(023) 8059 2985

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