Jean Paul THIERY

Toh Chin Chye Visiting Professor


Visiting Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS.
Toh Chin Chye Visiting Professor, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS.
Principal Investigator, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR.


Degree and Institution Year(s)
Institut Jacques Monod, Paris Doctorat d’Etat Thesis 1974
Masters in Physical Chemistry Engineering Diploma in Chemistry (Ecole Nationale Supérieure Chimie Strasbourg), Received First Placing in the year. 1968
University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg (France) Diploma Organic Chemistry of Natural Substances 1968

Professional Experience

Position and Institute Year(s)
Advisor to the Dean, NUS Medicine 2015 – present
Head of Department and Professor Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS. 2012 – 2015
Senior Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore 2008 – 2015
Principal Investigator, Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (IMCB), A*Star 2007 - 2015

Research Interest

Jean Paul Thiery has made seminal contributions in the fields of cell adhesion, cell migration, morphogenesis, and cancer, publishing more than 380 peer-reviewed articles in different areas of the life sciences. He discovered the first cell-cell adhesion molecule, N-CAM. He has pioneered new physical approaches to measure the strength of intercellular adhesion in epithelial cells, and he has developed a new transgenic model to target transgenes that are unique to the neural crest, a transient structure associated with the appearance of vertebrates. He co-discovered an important mutation (FGFR3) in bladder carcinoma, now considered to be the best prognostic marker for superficial tumours. These mutations are also found in 40% of seborrheic verruca (benign skin growths). He has also identified molecular pathways within breast carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma and uveal melanoma to define new prognostic indicators and therapeutic intervention. Jean Paul is considered to be the first to propose that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial mechanism for the progression of carcinoma. He has now established a high-throughput screen for EMT in carcinoma to define drug combinations that circumvent resistance to therapy. His work in EMT has largely contributed to the study of minimal residual disease in breast cancer.

Selected Publications

  1. Thiery, J.P., Brackenbury, R., Rutishauser, U. and Edelman, G.M. (1977). Adhesion among neural cells of the chick embryo. II. Purification and characterization of a cell adhesion molecule from neural retina. J. Biol. Chem. 252, 6841-6845.

  2. Edelman, G.M., Gallin, W., Delouvée, A,.Cunningham, B.A. and Thiery, J.P. (1983). Early epochal maps of two different cell adhesion molecules. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 80, 4384-4388.

  3. Champion, S., Imhof, B.A., Savagner, P. and Thiery, J.P. (1986). The embryonic thymus produces chemotactic peptides involved in the homing of hemopoietic precursors. Cell 44, 781-790.

  4. Boyer, B., Tucker, G.C., Vallés, A.M., Franke, W.W. and Thiery, J.P. (1989). Rearrangements of desmosomal and cytoskeletal proteins during the transition from epithelial to fibroblastoid organization in cultured rat bladder carcinoma cells. J. Cell. Biol. 109, 1495-1509.

  5. Cappellen, D., De Oliveira, C., Ricol, D., Gil-Diez de Medina, S., Bourdin, J., Sastre-Garau, X., Chopin, D.K., Thiery, J.P. and Radvanyi, F. (1999). Frequent activating mutations of FGFR3 in human bladder and cervix carcinomas. Nat. Genet. 23, 18-20.

  6. Thiery, J.P. (2002) Epithelial-mesenchymal transitions in tumor progression. Nature Reviews Cancer, 2 : 442-454.

  7. Taddei I, Deugnier MA, Faraldo MM, Petit V, Bouvard D, Medina D, Fässler R,Thiery, JP and Glukhova MA.(2008) β1 Integrin deletion from the basal compartment of the mammary epithelium affects stem cells. Nat Cell Biol 10: 716-722.

  8. Bollet MA, Servant N., Neuvial P., Decraene C., Lebigot I., Meyniel JP., De Rycke Y., Savignoni A., Rigaill G., Fourquet A., Sigal-Safrani B.,Barillot E., Thiery, JP (2008) High resolution mapping of DNA breakpoints to define true recurrences among ipsilateral breast cancers. J. Natl. Cancer. Inst. 100:48-58.

  9. Breau MA, Pietri T, Stemmler MP, Thiery JP , Weston JA. (2008) A nonneural epithelial domain of embryonic cranial neural folds gives rise to ectomesenchyme. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105: 7750-5

  10. Thiery, JP, Acloque H, Huang YJH and Nieto A. (2009) Epithelial-mesenchymal transitions in development and disease. Cell 139: 871-890.

  11. Toh B., X. Wang, J. Keeble, W. J. Sim ,K. Khoo,M. Kato, A. Prevost-Blondel J.P. Thiery and J.P. Abastado.(2011) Mesenchymal transition and dissemination of cancer cells is driven by myeloid-derived suppressor cells infiltrating the primary tumor. PloS Biology e1001162. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

  12. Thiery JP, Lim CT. (2013) Tumor dissemination: an EMT affair. Cancer Cell. 23: 272-3

  13. Akalay I, Janji B, Hasmim M, Noman MZ, André F, De Cremoux P, Bertheau P, Badoual C, Vielh P, Larsen AK, Sabbah M, Tan TZ, Keira JH, Hung NT, Thiery JP, Mami-Chouaib F, Chouaib S. (2013) Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and autophagy induction in breast carcinoma promote escape from T-cell-mediated lysis. Cancer Res. 73: 2418-27

  14. Bidard FC, Pierga JY, Soria JC, Thiery JP. (2013) Translating metastasis-related biomarkers to the clinic--progress and pitfalls. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 10: 169-79

  15. Engl W, Arasi B, Yap LL, Thiery JP, Viasnoff V. (2014) Actin dynamics modulate mechanosensitive immobilization of E-cadherin at adherens junctions. Nat Cell Biol. Epub 2014 May 25. 16: 587-94