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A Collaborative & International Group

Team director

Prof Fred Relaix

Team director

Research Interests

My research programme aims at deciphering the mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle maintenance and function in physiological or pathogenic conditions such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, preclinical modelling and establishment of innovative therapy with a strong focus on muscle stem cells development and function, impact of environmental stress, muscle stem cell heterogeneity, metabolism and interactions with the niche and local environment.


Contact: frederic.relaix {at}

Fred Relaix



Philippos Mourikis.jpg


Mourikis, PhD

Academic Researcher (DR)

Research Interests:

Regulation of satellite cell quiescence with a focus on Notch signallng. Using innovative cell isolation techniques, our aim is to identify and characterize the factors that drive satellite cells into quiescence (development/ regeneration), maintain them at this cell state during homeostasis, but also the factors that ignite their activation (regeneration and pathological conditions).

Contact: philippos.mourikis {at}

Philippos Mourikis

Financial Assistant



Financial Assistant


Financial support to the team for service/product ordering, budgeting, grant follow-up, and new recruits. 

Lila Bendameche

Academic researchers & Professors

Jean-Loup Duband.jpg


Duband, PhD

Academic Researcher (DR)

Jean-Loup Duband

Sylvie Dufour, PhD

Academic Researcher (DR)

Research Interests:

We develop a multidisciplinary research program, integrating molecular genetics, cell and developmental biology, and mechano-biology to understand how neural crest cells adapt to the metabolic, mechanical and biochemical constraints imposed by their micro environment to regulate their plasticity, migration and cell differentiation during development.

Contact: sylvie.dufour {at}

Sylvie Dufour

Sophie Fereol.jpg

Sophie Fereol, PhD

Associate Professor

Sophie Fereol

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Jules Gilet, PhD

Associate professor

Jules Gilet


Lafuste, PhD


Research Interests

Trying to decipher interactions between satellite cells and perivascular cells during growth and adulthood in physiological and pathological conditions.


Contact: peggy.lafuste {at}

Peggy Lafuste


Gervais-Taurel, PhD

Academic Researcher (CR)

Research Interests:

We are studying the impact of environmental stress, notably low oxygen and pollutants, on satellite cells, vascular cells and the myo-angiogenic coupling during muscle homeostasis and repair.

Contact: taurel {at}

Marianne Gervais-Taurel

Olivier Stettler, PhD


Olivier Stettler


Michineau, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Interests

I am working on the impact of environment on muscle biology and more specifically on the impact of pollution and hypoxia on satellite and endothelial cells.


Contact: michineau {at} 

Stephanie Michineau

Advanced Technical Support

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Sylvie Manin

Research Assistant

Research Interests:

Involved in projects evaluating the pollution as environmental stress on muscle homeostasis in vivo as well as in lab logistics.

Contact: sylvie.manin {at}

Sylvie Manin




Imaging Manager

Research Interests

I work on a specific preparation of biologic samples : The clearing. The purpose of the clearing is to make optically transparent a whole or thick biological sample so that it can be observed in depth.


Contact: Juliette.berthier {at}

Juliette Berthier

Anais Bleuzen.jpg



Gene editing assistant engineer

Research Interests

Being passionate about biotherapies, I have been involved in a gene therapy project for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, using the Crispr/Cas9 technology to restore or partially restore dystrophin.


Contact: anais.bleuzen {at}

Anais Bleuzen




Research Assistant

Kaouthar Kefi

Redouane Fodil


Redouane Fodil


Aurade, PhD

Molecular Biologist

Frederic Aurade

Erica Kimber

Research Engineer

Research Interests:

I work with Dr Philippos Mourikis and his group on Notch signalling and its effect on the regulation of muscle satellite cell quiescence.

Contact: erica.kimber {at}

Erica Kimber



Borok, PhD


Research Interests

I am using cytometric and viral approaches to investigate external and internal factors that regulate satellite cell quiescence.

Contact: matthew.borok {at}

Matthew Borok

Iwona Bronisz-Budzyńska, PhD


Research Interests

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy pathology and treatment.

Contact: iwona.bronisz-budzynska {at}

Iwona Bronisz-Budzyńska


Chrysostomou, PhD


Research Interests

The main focus of my project is to understand how and why muscle stem cell quiescence is maintained and regulated by the extracellular matrix niche and specifically by Notch signalling.


Contact: chrysostomoueleni {at} or  eleni.chrysostomou {at}

Eleni Chrysostomou


Esteves de Lima, PhD


Research Interests

I am interested in understanding how the generation and maintenance of skeletal muscle progenitors/stem cells is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms.


Contact: joana.esteves-de-lima {at}

Joana Esteves de Lima


Rotini, PhD


Research Interests

I aim to get insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the sympathetic neurons can putatively modulate the maintenance of SCs and pericytes in their myovascular niche.

Contact: alessio.rotini {at}

Alessio Rotini


Taglietti, PhD


Research Interests:

I’m actively working on a new rat model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy to decipher the patho-physiological processes involved in DMD progression. Moreover, I'm currently studying the pathways underlying muscle regenerative defects of DMD on the path to therapeutic development.

Contact: valentina.taglietti {at}

Valentina Taglietti

PhD students


Nassim Anis Ahmine

PhD student

Research Interests

With an engineering science background, I'm working on the multi-scale characterization of the mechanical properties of murine preclinical models in the context of the DMD disease. To reach this aim, I implement different experimental approaches as Traction Force Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy.


Contact: ahminenassimanis {at}

Nassim Anis Ahmine



PhD student

Research Interests

I’m differentiating ESCs towards the myogenic lineage. Exploring this population, I plan to reveal new direct targets of upstream regulators of myogenesis.


Contact: reem.abou.akar {at}

Reem Bou-Akar



PhD student

Research Interests

My project is about the impact of environmental stress on the vascularisation of skeletal muscle, using exposure to a pollutant (TCDD) and chronic activation of the AHR stress-response pathway.

Contact: dubois2.christelle {at}

Christelle Dubois



PhD student

Research Interests

Genetic and  molecular characterization of the role of the Krüpple - like factor KLF4 in adult skeletal muscle stem cells.


Contact: perla.geara {at}

Perla Geara



PhD student

Research Interests

Establishment and regulation of quiescence on muscle stem cells.

Stamatia Gioftsidi

Nioosha Nekooie-Marnany

PhD student

Research Interests:

My aim is to establish the critical role of metabolites on each step of developmental neural crest cells: delamination, migration and differentiation.

Contact: nioosha.nekooie-marnany {at}

Nioosha Nekooie-Marnany




PhD student

Research Interests

Evaluation of the impact of a combination of standard treatment and innovative gene therapy in a rat preclinical model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.



Contact: mathilde.rodrigues16 {at}

Mathilde Rodrigues

Associated members



PhD student

Research Interests

I work in understanding how cells react to dissociation and subsequently promote ubiquitous and cell-specific transcriptional programs with a specific interest in skeletal muscle stem cells.


Contact: leo.machado {at}

Leo Machado



PhD student

Research Interests

I'm working on the characterization of muscle stem cells status and capacities in human samples of lower limn skeletal muscle from patients presenting peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and their relation to endothelial cells under the effect of ischemia. 


Contact: {at}

Joseph Touma

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