Guillermo Oliver, PhD
Guillermo Oliver, PhD

Guillermo Oliver, PhD

Member, St. Jude Faculty

  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)


Honors & Awards

  • 2011 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS)
  • 2009-2015 Elected Member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Developmental Biology
  • 2008 Lymphatic Research Foundation Leadership Award

Laboratory Members

Research Interests

During embryonic development, pattern formation is considered the process by which spatial and temporal patterns of cells activities are organized within the embryo in order to produce the correspondent tissues and organs. Alterations in any of these processes can lead to major developmental defects and pathological alterations. Our long-term objectives are to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling different aspects of normal and pathological organogenesis during embryogenesis using a variety of mouse models. Our areas of interest are the forebrain and visual system and the lymphatic vasculature. We use a combination of animal models and 3D organ culture systems, stem cells and iPS cells. For additional details see the links below.

Forebrain and Visual System Development

Lymphatic Vasculature Formation In Health and Disease

Selected Publications

Srinivasan S, Escobedo N, Yang Y, Interiano A, Dillard ME, Finkelstein D, Mukatira S, Gil HJ, Nurmi H, Alitalo K, Oliver G. Prox1-Vegfr3 feedback loop maintains the identity and the number of lymphatic endothelial cell progenitors. Genes & Dev 28: 2175-2187, 2014.

Wiener Z, Hogstrom J, Hyvonen V, Band A, Kallio P, Holopainen T, Dufva O, Haglund C, Kruuna O, Olive rG, Neriah YB, Alitalo K. Prox1 promotes expansion of the colorectal cancer stem cell population to fuel tumor growth and ischemia resistance. Cell Reports 8:1-14, 2014.

Lavado A, Oliver G. Jagged1 is necessary for postnatal and adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Developmental Biology 388:11-21, 2014.

Hess PR, Rawnsley DR, Jakus Z, Yang Y, Sweet DT, Fu J, Herzog B, Lu M, Nieswandt B, Oliver G, Makinen T, Xia L, Kahn ML. Platelets mediate lymphovenous hemostasis to maintain blood-lymphatic separation throughout life. J Clin Invest 2013. doi: 10.1172/JCI70422. PMCID: PMC3871239.

Yang Y, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Soriano M, Srinivasan S, Scallan J, Singh MK, Epstein JA, Oliver G. Lymphatic endothelial progenitors bud from the cardinal vein and intersomitic vessels in mammalian embryos. Blood August 2, 2012. Epub ahead of print.

Yao LC, Baluk P, Srinivasan RS, Oliver G, McDonald DM. Plasticity of button-like junctions in the endothelium of airway lymphatics in development and inflammation. Am J Pathol 180(6):2561-75, 2012.

Lavado A, Oliver G. Six3 is required for ependymal cell maturation. Development 138:5291-5300, 2011.

Srinivasan RS, Oliver G. Prox1 dosage controls the number of lymphatic endothelial cell progenitors and the formation of the lymphovenous valves. Genes Dev 25(20):2187-2197, 2011.

Karner CM, Das A, Ma Z, Self M, Chen C, Lum L, Oliver G, Carroll TJ. Canonical Wnt9b signaling balances progenitor cell expansion and differentiation during kidney development. Development 138(7):1247-57, 2011.

Wang Y, Oliver G. Current views on the function of the lymphatic vasculature in health and disease. Genes Dev 24(19):2115-2126, 2010.

Liu W, Lagutin O, Swindell E, Jamrich M, Oliver G. Neuroretina specification in mouse embryos requires Six3-mediated suppression of Wnt8b in the anterior neural plate. J Clin Invest 120(10):3568-3577, 2010.

Geng X, Oliver G. Elucidating the molecular characteristics of organogenesis in human embryos. Genome Biol 11(8):130, 2010.

Lavado A, Lagutin OV, Chow LML, Baker SJ, Oliver G. Prox1 Is Required for Granule Cell Maturation and Intermediate Progenitor Maintenance During Brain Neurogenesis. PLoS Biol 8(8):e1000460, 2010. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000460.

Oliver G, Srinivasan S. Endothelial cell plasticity: how to become and remain a lymphatic endothelial cell. Invited review article. Development 137, 363-372, 2010.

McGovern S, Pan J, Oliver G, Cutz E, Yeger H. The role of hypoxia and neurogenic genes (Mash-1 and Prox-1) in the developmental maturation of pulmonary neuroendocrine cells in fetal mouse lung. Lab Invest 90, 180-195, 2010.

Srinivasan S, Geng X, Yang Y, Wang Y, Mukatira S, Studer M, Porto M, Lagutin O, Oliver G. The nuclear hormone receptor Coup-TFII is required for the initiation and maintenance of Prox1 expression in lymphatic endothelial cells. Genes & Dev 24, 696-707, 2010.

Self M, Geng X, Oliver G. Six2 activity is required for the formation of the mammalian pyloric sphincter. Dev Biology 334:409-417, 2009.

Geng X, Oliver G. Pathogenesis of holoprosencephaly. J Clin Invest 119, 1403-1413, 2009.

Risebro CA, Searles RG, Melville AA, Ehler E, Dyal S, Jina N, Shah S, Hubank M, Dillar ME, Harvey NL, Schwartz RJ, Chien KR, Oliver G, Riley PR. Prox1 maintains muscle structure and growth in the developing heart. Development 136, 495-505, 2009.

Johnson N, Dillard M, Baluk P, McDonald DM, Harvey NL, Frase SL, Oliver G. Lymphatic endothelial cell identity is reversible and its maintenance requires Prox1 activity. Genes & Dev 22:3282-329, 2008.  *News release Highlighted byScience’s Editor’s Choice (Science 322, 1610). *Accompanying Perspective: Master and commander: continued expression of Prox1 prevents the dedifferentiation of lymphatic endothelial cells.

Johnson N, Oliver G. Insight into lymphatic vasculature development. In Lymphangiogenesis in Cancer Metastasis. New York: Springer; 2009.

Jeong Y, Coluccio Leskow F, El-Jaick K, Roessler E, Muenke M, Yocum A, David V, Li X, Geng X, Oliver G, Epstein DJ. Regulation of a remote Sonic hedgehog forebrain enhancer by the Six3 homeoprotein. Nat Genet 40:1348-1353, 2008.

Vondenhoff MFR, van del Pavert S, Dillard ME, Greuter M, Krall G, Oliver G, Mebius RE. Lymph sacs are not required for the initiation of lymph node formation. Development 136:29-34, 2008. 

Geng X, Speirs C, Lagutin O, Inbal A, Liu W, Solnica-Krezel L, Jeong Y, Epstein D, Oliver G. Haploinsufficiency of Six3 fails to activate Sonic hedgehog expression in the ventral forebrain and causes holoproscencephaly. Dev Cell 15:236-247,2008.  

Kobayashi1 A, Valerius MT, Mugford JW, Carroll TJ, Self M, Oliver G, McMahon AP. Six2 defines and regulates a multipotent self-renewing nephron progenitor population throughout mammalian kidney development. Cell Stem Cell 3:169-181, 2008.

Oliver G, Srinivasan S. Lymphatic vasculature development. Ann NY Acad Sci 1131:75-81, 2008.

Petrova TV, Nykanen A, Normen C, Ivanov KI, Andersson LC, Haglund C, Puolakkainen P, Wempe F, von Melchner H, Gradwhol G, Vanharanta S, Aaltonen LA, Saharinen J, Gentile M, Clarke A, Taipale J, Oliver G, Alitalo K. Transcription Factor PROX1 Induces Colon Cancer Progression by Promoting the Transition from Benign to Highly Dysplastic Phenotype. Cancer Cell 13:407-19, 2008.

Lavado A, Lagutin O, Oliver G. Six3 inactivation causes progressive caudalization and aberrant patterning of the diencephalon Development 135,441-450, 2008.

Srinivasan S, Dillard M, Lin FJ, Tsai S, Tsai M-J, Samokhvalov IM, Lagutin O, Oliver G. Lineage tracing reveals the venous origin of the mammalian lymphatic vasculature. Genes & Dev 21, 2422-2432, 2007.

Lavado A, Oliver G. Prox1 expression patterns in the developing and adult murine brain. Dev Dynamics 236:518-24, 2007.

Geng X, Lavado A, Lagutin O, Liu W, Oliver G. Expression of Six3 Opposite Strand (Six3OS) during mouse embryonic development. Genes Expr Patterns 7:252-57, 2007.

Liu W, Lagutin O, Mende M, Streit A, Oliver G. Six3 activation of Pax6 expression is essential for mammalian lens induction and specification. EMBO J 25:5383-95, 2006.

Self M, Lagutin O, Bowling B, Hendrix J, Cai Y, Dressler G, Oliver G. Six2 activity is required for suppression of inductive signals and progenitor cell renewal in the developing kidney. EMBO J 25:5214-28, 2006.

Harvey N, Srinivasan S, Dillard ME, Johnson N, Witte M, Boyd K, Sleeman M, Oliver G. Lymphatic Vascular Defects Promoted by Prox1 Haploinsufficiency Cause Adult-Onset Obesity. Nat Genet 37:1072-1081, 2005.

Oliver G, Alitalo K. The Lymphatic Vasculature: Recent Progress and Paradigms. Ann Rev Dev Biol 10:457-483, 2005.

Wang J, Kilic G, Aydin M, Burke Z, Oliver G, Sosa-Pineda B. Prox1 activity increases pancreatic islet cell genesis and expands the pool of undifferentiated pancreatic progenitors. Dev Biol 286:182-194, 2005.

Lim JH, Booker AB, Luo T, Williams T, Furuta Y, Lagutin O, Oliver G, Sargent TD, Fallon JR. AP-2a selectively regulates Fragile X mental retardation-1 gene transcription during embryonic development. Human Mol Genet 14:2027-2034, 2005.

Purcell P, Oliver G, Mardon G, Maas R. Pax6 dependence of Six3, Eya1 and Dach1 expression during lens and nasal placode induction. Mech Dev 6:110-118, 2005.

Murali D, Yoshikawa S,  Corrigan RR,  Plas DJ, Crair MC, Oliver G, Lyons KM,  Mishina Y, Furuta Y. Distinct developmental programs require different levels of Bmp signal during mouse retinal development. Development 132:913-923, 2005.

Harvey NL, Oliver G. Choose your fate: artery, vein or lymphotic vessel? Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 14(5):499-505, 2004.

Oliver G. Lymphatic vasculature development. Nature Rev Imm 4:35-45, 2004.

Dyer MA, Livesey FJ, Cepko CL and Oliver G. Prox1 function controls progenitor cell proliferation and horizontal cell genesisi in the mammalian retina. Nature Gen 34:53-58, 2003.

Lagutin O, Zhu C, Kobayashi D, Topczewski J, Shimamura K, Puelles L, Russell HR, McKinnon P, Solnica-Krezel L and Oliver G.  Six3 repression of Wnt signaling in the anterior neuroectoderm is essential for vertebrate forebrain development. Genes & Dev 17:368-379, 2003.

Oliver G and Harvey N. A stepwise model of the development of lymphatic vasculature. (review chapter for The Lymphatic Continuum) Ann NY Acad Sci 979:159-165, 2002.

Hong Y-K, Harvey N, Noh Y-H, Schacht V, Hirakawa S, Detmar M and Oliver G. Prox1 is a master control gene in the program specifying lymphatic endothelial cell fate. Dev Dyn 225:351-357, 2002.

Hawighorst T, Oura H, Streit M, Janes L, Nguyen L, Brown LF, Oliver G, Jackson DG and Detmar M. Thrombospondin-1 selectively inhibits early-stage epithelial carcinogenesis and angiogenesis but not tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis in transgenic mice. Oncogene 21:7945-7956, 2002.

Burke Z, and Oliver G. Prox1 is an early specific marker for the mammalian foregut endoderm containing the liver and pancreatic precursors. Mech Dev 118:147-155, 2002.

Zhu CC, Dyer MA, Uchikawa M, Kondoh H, Lagutin OV and Oliver G.  Six3-mediated auto repression and eye development requires its interaction with members of the Groucho-related family of corepressors. Development 129:2836-2849, 2002.

Oliver G and Detmar M. The rediscovery of the lymphatic system: New and old insights into the development and biological function of the lymphatic vasculature. Genes & Dev 16:773-783, 2002.

Wigle JT, Harvey N, Detmar M, Lagutina I, Grosveld G, Gunn MD, Jackson DG, and Oliver G. An essential role for Prox1 in the induction of the lymphatic endothelial cell phenotype. EMBO J 21:1505-1513, 2002.

Hsieh Y-W, Zhang Z-M, Lin E, Oliver G, Yang X-J. The homeobox gene Six3 is a potential regulator of anterior segment formation in the chick eye. Dev Biol 248:265-280, 2002.

Lagutin O, Zhu CC, Furuta Y, Rowitch DH, McMahon AP, and Oliver G. Six3 promotes the formation of ectopic optic vesicles in mouse embryos. Dev Dynamics 221:342-349, 2001.

Sosa-Pineda B, Wigle JT, and Oliver G. Hepatocyte migration during liver development requires Prox1. Nature Gen 25:254-255, 2000.

Furuta Y, Lagutin O, Hogan BLM, and Oliver G. Retina and ventral forebrain specific Cre recombinase activity in transgenic mice. Genesis 26:130-132, 2000.

Henue TA, Reshef R, Davis RJ, Mardon G, Oliver G, Tomarev S, Lassar AB, and Tabin C. Synergistic regulation of vertebrate muscle development by Dach2, Eya2, and Six1 homologues of genes required for Drosophila eye formation. Genes & Devel 13:3231-3243, 1999.

Wigle JT and Oliver G. Prox1 function is required for the development of the murine lymphatic system. Cell 98:769-778, 1999.

Wigle JT, Chowdhury K, Gruss P and Oliver G. Prox1 function is crucial for mouse lens-fibre elongation. Nature Genet 21:318-322,1999.

Oliver G and Gruss P. Current views on eye development. Trends Neurosci 20:415-21, 1997.

Last update: October 2014