Genetics and cell biology

Tissue regeneration and homeostasis


Group leader

Emilie Venereau


Tissue regeneration is a well-orchestrated process that occurs after injury caused by disease, physical trauma or infection, among others. The injured tissues release intracellular molecules, called Damage- Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs), which are essential for protection of the host and tissue healing. The Unit is particularly interested in HMGB1, a DAMP originally identified as a nuclear protein involved in chromatin dynamics, that also acts as a signal of tissue damage when extracellularly released. We demonstrated that alternative redox forms of HMGB1 orchestrate sequential physiological processes after tissue injury—signaling damage, triggering inflammation, and promoting regeneration. Of most direct utility, we generated a designer HMGB1 as a drug candidate to promote tissue repair without exacerbating inflammation.

Research activity

Our main interest is to gain a deeper understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that coordinate tissue regeneration and homeostasis. Our current research activities are focused on the regeneration of skeletal muscle from physiological to acute and chronic pathological conditions such as muscular dystrophies and muscle wasting associated to cancer. We combine in vivo mouse models (muscular dystrophies, stem cells transplantation, tumorigenesis) with the most up to date molecular, cellular and imaging procedures to unravel mechanistic insights underlying the regenerative process and the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, and to evaluate the therapeutic relevance of our findings in preclinical models.

PhD program:
We offer PhD positions in two curricula: Cellular and Molecular Biology Basic and Applied Immunology and Oncology. For further details on the PhD program click here.