Page 17

CIM32

N°32 I quarterly I January 2014 Profile | 17 6 key dates 1945 Born in the UK 1971 Moves to France 1981 Becomes CNRS research director 2002 A warded the Légion d’honneur 2005 Elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences 2013 Awarded the CNRS Gold Medal Contact information : Institut Pasteur, Paris. Margaret Buckingham > margaret.buckingham@pasteur.fr and sick children. “In the 2000s, we observed how cells are distributed in the heart. We discovered a source of cells that contribute both to the formation of the arterial pole and the venous pole. No one suspected this, because the two poles are situated at opposite ends of the heart.” Yet this discovery is by no means anecdotal, considering that in France, 0.8% of babies are born with a heart malformation. One third of these malformations affect the arterial pole. “We suggested to pediatric cardiologists at the Necker Hospital in Paris that an unsuccessful operation could be due to a fault in the venous pole, since this is formed by the same cell source as the arterial pole,” she says. The clinicians did indeed find that this was the case in a significant number of babies who had not survived. They now check systematically for the more subtle malformations which may be present at the venous pole and correct these when they operate on newborn children diagnosed with arterial pole defects. “I believe this may have helped save some lives,” she says with typical understatement. “The atmosphere around Margaret Buckingham is intellectually stimulating, relaxed, and very human,” says Sigolène Meilhac, one of her collaborators. “The proof is that all those who have been through her lab have continued in research. This is a very good sign.” It is indeed one of her collaborators, Didier Montarras, who is now administratively responsible for the lab where Margaret Buckingham continues to contribute to the direction of research. © c. frésillon/CNRS Photothèque A video profile and photo gallery are available on the online version of the magazine: > www.cnrs.fr/cnrsmagazine


CIM32
To see the actual publication please follow the link above