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A Collaborative & International Group




Academic Researcher (CR)

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).


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Regulation of how a ball can go form one side of the court to the other with a focus on the yellow ball.

What the Relaix lab says about Philippos

 "Outstanding researcher with a true academic vision"


"Greece contributed a lot in arts, philosophy, democracy, science... and it still is by giving us such a brilliant biologist. "

Contact: philippos.mourikis {at}




Associate Professor

Research Interests

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


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Museums, ballet and music!

What the Relaix lab says about Peggy

 "Very good in negotiations and an excellent patissier"


"A very smiley teacher and scientist always available to help her colleagues"

Contact: peggy.lafuste {at}




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.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 


What the Relaix lab says about Stephanie

 "In less time than you need to twist the cap of a beer, she will already have twisted the neck of your “to do list” (and.. yes, actually drunk your beer)."


"Someone who listens to others, quiet, reassuring, peaceful, confident, someone who sees the glass more half full than half empty"

Contact: michineau {at} 




Molecular Engineer

What the Relaix lab says about Frederic

 "You can clone as he says, you can't clone as he does"


"The nicest rude person ever"

"Grumbling out loud like a bird in springtime, he will always give you a (pipette) hand when you’re down without (microscope) light."




Preclinical Model Manager




Molecular Engineer









Research Interests

I am using mass cytometry to study all populations participating in muscle regeneration, and investigating signals involved in macrophage polarization.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Climbing, running

What the Relaix lab says about Matt

 "It’s known that: “people who love to eat are always the best people”. Besides that, his sympathetic personality and brightness in science made him perfect"


" "It's peanut butter jelly time!"  "

Contact: matthew.borok {at}

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.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

I practice running and I like music.

What the Relaix lab says about Juliette

 "The girl who makes muscles transparent"


"Super active woman, always volunteer to help everyone even during our coffee time !"

"Juliette is a microscopist magician able to make the visible invisible and vice versa…"

Contact: Juliette.berthier {at}

Research Interests

ES culture and maintenance

ES derivation and differentiation

Transgenesis (gene targetting via homologous recombination)

What the Relaix lab says about Bernie

 "Bernie is our mouse SUPER labmanager and makes sure we will not become transgenic. "


"Bernie les bons tuyaux: You need an info? She would know!"

Research Interests

The aim of my project is to identify the currently non-characterized impact of environment stress on muscle stem cells and decipher the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved, including the role of the AHR stress pathway.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

I practice “DIY”, I tinker with whatever falls down on my road, I love car mechanics and put (my) hands in the grease.  But I also like to bother folks by making some noise with guitar/piano.

What the Relaix lab says about Audrey

 "The strength of her smile gives you motivation in a very bad day"


"It's a bummer"  "

Contact: audrey.der-vartanian {at}

















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.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Travelling, Movies, Ninja Turtles, Juventus

What the Relaix lab says about Alessio

 "His favorite things (in no particular order) are science, pizza, and the ninja turtles"



Contact: alessio.rotini {at}

Research Interests

Unveiling the communication code between the adipose tissue and muscle progenitors in health and disease.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Whatever with trekking boots and a loaded backpack with wine, bread, and chorizo.

What the Relaix lab says about Sergio

 "Blot, blot, western, baby"


"Sergio is our adipose tissue-man. He is a young post-doc, although his short telomeres and all his aches and pains suggest that he is close to retirement"

Contact: sergio.perez-diaz {at}

Research Interests

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


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 


What the Relaix lab says about Joana

 "They say only 2% of earth’s population have green eyes. But she’s not unique only for that. Joana is a lovely person combining the sweet heart of a baby and the brilliant mind of a master."


"  "But I waaaant"  "

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

Research Interests

Decipher the relationship between Pax3 and the Dioxin receptor, named Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), during craniofacial development. In addition, I’m actively studying the role of Pax3 and Pax7 in regulating the gene regulatory network of somites and crest cells during evolution.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

I love to travel around the world, discovering places off the beaten path and different cultures. Then, my hobbies include training at the gym, reading books, and (..when I have the possibility) doing scuba diving.

What the Relaix lab says about Vale

 "In contrast to Snow White, her lunch apples have superpowers and are not poisonous"


"Efficient in running 10 projects at once. Also: the psychologist of the lab"

Contact: valentina.taglietti {at}




PhD student




PhD student




PhD student




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. 

Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Cheerfully lifting a 15 kgs baby boy twenty consecutive times twice a day.

What the Relaix lab says about Joseph

"Joseph is a vascular surgeon temporarily deprived of his electric scalpel and a good influencer for interesting series, films or podcasts"


Contact: {at}




Group Leader

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.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

I was a photographer long before knowing the structure of DNA

What the Relaix lab says about Fred

 "The eternal optimist about life, people and projects"


"Too famous"

Contact: frederic.relaix {at}




Financial Assistant


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

What the Relaix lab says about Lila

 "Lila is the best financial assistant I ever worked with."


"Fabulous! Once you meet her, you don't forget her. "




Project Manager

Research Interests

Excited to discuss satellite cell-, regeneration-, dystrophy-related projects in the lab and to write grant applications, reports, and conference proposals for these topics.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 


To see >44 countries and cultures around the world

What the Relaix lab says about Despoina

 "An efficient, helpful and reliable person with a funny and adorable personality"


Contact: dmademtz {at}




Academic Researcher (CR)

Research Interests

In my group 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.

​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Modern Pentathlon association

What the Relaix lab says about Marianne

 "A firm character, a true helping hand, and a childish laughter. "


"A star of French proverbs"

Contact: taurel {at}




PhD student

Research Interests

I’m using ESCs to generate myogenic progenitors that express Pax3, a key upstream regulator of myogenesis. Exploring this population, I plan to reveal new direct targets of Pax3


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

My therapy is a walk through the woods and listen to the magic whisper of old trees. While many people hike for the enjoyment of it, it also gives you more endurance, stronger muscles and a better mood.

What the Relaix lab says about Reem

 "Real-life Lebanese princess with a sharp mind,  a heart of gold, maturity and kindness of angels. Even better, she loves good food."


"Reem might well be the most serious, ethical and funny among the PhD students, she's the light of the PhD student office"

Contact: reem.abou.akar {at}




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.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Relaxing with friends and family, testing new extreme sports, kittens. 

What the Relaix lab says about Christelle

 "Even though Christelle is currently exposed to pollutants, she never loses her smile and her good mood!  "


"Christelle is a wise and brilliant PhD student who loves thrills of all kinds. When she is not consuming dioxin in the lab, she enjoys flying in the air, skydiving or bungee-jumping all around the world."

Contact: dubois2.christelle {at}




PhD student

Research Interests

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


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Reading (does the exact opposite of maintaining the muscle actually) 

What the Relaix lab says about Perla

 "There could be explosions happening in her head, but you would never understand a thing. No matter the situation, she looks calm,  so self-disciplined, a rather admirable virtue! "


"Imagine having the heart of a baby, the mind of Dexter, the style of a Lebanese all summed up in one girl, who is also a fan on Guns N' Roses and knows every episode of FRIENDS by heart."

Contact: perla.geara {at}




PhD student

Research Interests

Establishment and regulation of quiescence on muscle stem cells.


What the Relaix lab says about Stemi

 "Stemi is the last Great Greek Diva while also being incredibly hard-working and generous"


"She's a dedicated, passionate hard worker... after all she's a kung fu girl! "

Research Interests

I worked on multiple subjects during my PhD:

  • Pericytes and the relationship between the microvascular niche and the satellite cells

  • High sucrose diet induced obesity and its effect on homeostasis and regeneration of the skeletal muscle

  • HMADS as a support regeneration tool for skeletal muscle

​Strategy for muscle maintenance:

Outdoor jogger, Gym person

What the Relaix lab says about Zeynab

 "Zeynab is a very talented PhD and her voice will enchant you. When she is singing in the lab, your day gets better "


"With great smile comes great responsibility! A person who is very nice personally and professionally and but also a very good cook. What else?"

Contact: zeynab.koumaiha {at}

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.


​Strategy for muscle maintenance: 

Validating the above findings in the gym.

What the Relaix lab says about Leo

 "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now" – Queen  "


"A healthy mind in a healthy body ! The only scientist capable of bench pressing 140 kilos."

Contact: leo.machado {at}

Research Interests

I’m interested in the effect of hypoxia on skeletal muscle repair and on muscle stem cell fate. 

What the Relaix lab says about Marie

 "The only woman of the lab who doesn’t drink coffee."


"Don't try to talk to her before 9 AM ! After waking up she will be super happy to spend time with you to teach a lot of things or helping."

Contact: marie.quetin {at}

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