Professor Pamela Cowin

BSc (Hons), PhD

Visiting Bye-Fellow

College Jobs

  • Visiting Bye-Fellow

University Jobs

  • Professor of Cell Biology and Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine (NYUSOM)


Telephone: +1 646-717-0325



I graduated with a B.Sc. Hons. in Biology from the University of Southampton and continued there for my doctoral work on cell-cell adhesion. In 1984 I moved to Heidelberg to carry out postdoctoral work at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). I set up my own laboratory in the USA with support from the American Cancer Society, NIH and a PEW scholarship.  Currently I am a Professor of Cell Biology and Dermatology at New York University School of Medicine (NYUSOM).

My early research focused on solving the molecular architecture of desmosomes, which are the major cell-cell adhesive structure of all epithelia. More recently I have investigated the roles of embryonic patterning pathways in mammary development and their connection with breast cancer.

Research Interests

My early research on desmosomes focussed on cadherin cell adhesion proteins and their associated catenins.  This lead me to investigate the role of the embryonic Wnt signaling pathway in patterning mammalian epidermal appendages such as mammary glands and hair follicles.  After generating a transgenic mouse that developed breast cancer preceded by precocious mammary development my group focussed on the role of Wnt and Hedgehog signaling in mammary development and their connection to breast cancer. Recently we have pioneered two further areas of mammary research: one revealing roles for latent TGF-beta-binding protein (LTBP1) in embryonic mammary development and post-lactational involution. The second investigates the function of an unusual adhesion-GPCR that is highly expressed in basal breast cancer.