Fernando Unda Rodríguez

I completed my PhD with Prof. Salvador Aliño in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (UPV/EHU) in 1989 in Leioa, Spain. My work was focused on the importance of extracellular matrix molecules during tumor growing and metastasis. Then, I started to explore the mechanisms of cell differentiation, particularly odontoblast differentiation, with Prof. Jean Victor Ruch (†2003) in 1993-94 in the Faculty of Medicine of Louis Pasteur University in Strasborug, France. In 1998-2001 I was working with Dr. Yoshihiko Yamada at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA). We prepared a cDNA library of mouse embryo first molars. We found and identified Epiprofin/Sp6 transcription factor in embryo development. During odontogenesis this protein is essential for ameloblast formation and enamel secretion, and very important for proper odontoblast differentiation and dentin formation.  At present, we investigate in signalling pathways during odontogenesis and salivary gland development, dental stem cells properties and the implication of Epiprofin/Sp6 in tumorigenesis.