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Institute of Dentistry - Barts and The London

Dr Inês Sequeira , MSc, PhD


Lecturer, Early Career Researcher

Room Number: Blizard Buidling Institute of Dentistry


Dr Inês Sequeira was appointed as a Lecturer at the Institute of Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, in 2019. She has been studying stem cell and cancer biology for the past 15 years. Inês obtained her Biology degree at Lisbon University and Université Libre de Bruxelles and moved to Institut Pasteur in Paris to complete her doctoral studies. During her PhD, she worked with a multidisciplinary team to investigate stem cell heterogeneity and behaviour in the hair follicle using clonal analysis, 3D imaging and mathematical modelling, and establishing a novel model to describe stem cell behaviour in the niche during hair regeneration. In 2014, Inês moved to London and joined the laboratory of Prof Fiona Watt, one of the world-leading labs in skin and stem cell biology, at the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine (King’s College London) for her postdoctoral training on cancer biology. There, she developed her line of research using a mouse model for oral cancer (OSCC), establishing methodologies that were entirely new to the lab. During her postdoc, she uncovered a novel immunoregulatory role for Keratin 76 during tumour development. Furthermore, she focused in understanding the genetic and cellular heterogeneity in OSCC, correlating the genetic changes identified by whole exome sequencing with their location, clonal organisation and immune infiltrate changes of individual tumours in order to determine the dynamics of OSCC formation. This analysis opens new avenues to the development of new biomarker testing for early stage mutations, improving early diagnosis and monitoring of oral cancer.

Dr Sequeira’s lab is particularly interested in dissecting the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in oral cancer formation and in understanding the regenerative potential of the oral mucosa, a tissue with rapid and scarless healing when compared to skin. Inês and her team aim to combine experimental and theoretical approaches including cutting-edge imaging with computational modelling to map the cellular interactions, and transcriptomics to uncover intrinsic and extrinsic signals during oral wound healing and tumour formation. This research has broad translational applications: the identification of the microenvironment signatures in scarless tissues will offer an exciting strategy to accelerate wound healing after tumour resection during oral cancer surgical treatment and to improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

Alongside her scientific training, Dr Sequeira co-founded the Young Researchers in Life Sciences Association in France ( and was Vice-President of the StaPa - Association of Young Researchers at Pasteur Institute. More recently, she co-founded and coordinates the ‘London Stem Cell Network’ (

In addition to building a reputation for high-quality research, Inês is also very engaged into science outreach. She is an STEM ambassador and often visits schools and hosts school visits in the lab. She is also a Native Scientist and member of the EuroStemCell Network, she has developed a podcast about the actualities of stem cell research (‘StemCells@Lunch digested’) and pedagogic tools for stem cell research awareness. More recently, Inês collaborated with artists to create art installations (Stem Cell Hotel) at Somerset House in London (, and collaborated with school teachers to develop Art&Science projects (











Research Interests:





Sequeira I, Watt FM (2019). The role of keratins in modulating carcinogenesis via communication with cells of the immune system. Invited Review for Cell Stress. doi: 10.15698/cst2019.04.184

Joost S, Annusver K, Jacob T, Sun X, Sivan U, Dalessandri T, Sequeira I, Sandberg R, Kasper M. The molecular anatomy of mouse skin during hair growth and rest. BioRxiv

Sequeira I, Neves JF, Carrero D, Peng Q, Palasz N, Liakath-Ali K, Morgan P, Graham L, Lombardi G, Watt FM (2018). Immunomodulatory role of Keratin 76 in oral and gastric cancer. Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05872-4

Liakath-Ali K, Mills EW, Sequeira I, Lichtenberger BM, Pisco AO, Sipilä KH, Mishra A, Yoshikawa H, Chih-Chien Wu C, Ly T, Lamond A, Adham IM, Green R, Watt FM (2018). An evolutionarily conserved ribosome-rescue pathway maintains epidermal homeostasis. Nature. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0032-3

Liakath-Ali K, Vancollie VE, Sequeira I, Lelliott CJ, Watt FM (2018). Myosin 10 is involved in murine pigmentation. Exp Dermatology. doi: 10.1111/exd.13528.

Telerman S, Rognoni E, Sequeira I, Pisco AO, Lichtenberger BM, Culley O, Viswanathan P, Driskell R, Watt FM (2017). Dermal Blimp1 acts downstream of epidermal TGFβ and Wnt/β-catenin to regulate hair follicle formation and growth. J Inv Dermatology. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.06.015

Weber C, Telerman SB, Sequeira I, Liakath-Ali K, Reimer AS, Arwert EN, Watt FM. (2016). Macrophage Infiltration and Alternative Activation during Wound Healing Promote MEK1-Induced Skin Carcinogenesis. Cancer Research. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-3676

Sequeira I, Legué E, Capgras S, Nicolas JF (2013). Microdissection and visualisation of individual hair follicles for lineage tracing studies. Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology. doi: 10.1007/7651_2013_48

Sequeira I, Nicolas JF (2012). Redefining the structure of the Hair follicle by 3D clonal analysis. Development. doi: 10.1242/dev.081091

Della Gaspera B, Armand AS, Sequeira I, Lecolle S, Charbonier F, Chanoine C (2012). Myogenic waves and myogenic programs during Xenopus embryonic myogenesis. Dev Dyn. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.23780

Legué E, Sequeira I, Nicolas JF (2011). Hair follicle stem cells, in Stem cells and cancer stem cells. Methods of cancer diagnosis, therapy and prognosis. Hayat, M.A. ed. – Book Chapter. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-2415-0

Legué E, Sequeira I, Nicolas JF (2010). Hair follicle renewal: authentic morphogenesis that depends on a complex progression of stem cell lineages. Development. doi: 10.1242/dev.044123

Della Gaspera B, Armand AS, Sequeira I, Lecolle S, Gallien CL, Charbonier F, Chanoine C (2009). The Xenopus MEF2 gene family: evidence of a role for XMEF2C in larval tendon development. Dev Biol. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.01.039

Della Gaspera B, Sequeira I, Charbonier F, Becker C, Shi D, Chanoine C (2006). Spatio-temporal Expression of MRF4 transcripts and protein during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis. Dev Dyn. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.20628