Milan K. Bagchi


Dr. Bagchi received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in Biochemistry and did his postdoctoral training with Dr. Bert O’Malley at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. He was a senior scientist and laboratory head at the Population Council and the Rockefeller University, New York, before he joined the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2001. He was promoted to professor in 2005. Bagchi is recognized with appointments as a University Scholar in 2009 and Romano Scholar in 2011. He serves as the Director of the National Center for Research in Reproduction and Infertility funded by the NIH at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Bagchi’s research team is investigating, at molecular and cellular levels, the pathways regulated by the steroid hormones estrogen and progesterone during development and differentiation of key hormone-responsive tissues, including the female reproductive tract and the mammary gland. His laboratory identified CUB-Zona pellucida 1 (CUZD1) as a novel target of estrogen action in the mammary gland. Mice lacking Cuzd1 exhibit impairment in steroid-induced proliferation of mammary ductal and alveolar epithelium. The Bagchi group found that Cuzd1 controls the production of the EGF family growth factors, which signal via the ERBB receptors to promote mammary epithelial cell proliferation. Mice harboring mammary epithelial cells overexpressing Cuzd1 developed malignant breast tumors. Interestingly, elevated expression of Cuzd1 is also observed in human breast tumors. Dr. Bagchi’s laboratory continues to explore the mechanisms by which Cuzd1 controls steroid- and EGF family-induced growth pathways during normal mammary development and breast tumorigenesis.


Estrogen, Estrogen receptor, EGF family growth factors, mammary development, breast cancer

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*University of Illinois Cancer Center Member