The current research themes of the Faculty of Medicine labs cut across the disciplines of life science, drug design and psychology. Research is conducted both in the fundamental and applied fields.

Cells and Tissue Laboratory

This laboratory is focused on cutaneous biology and pathology using morphological and functional approaches: control of proliferation, differentiation and adhesion of epidermal keratinocytes.

Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry

This laboratory studies the lysosomes in normal and pathological conditions.

Laboratory of Genetics

Unravelling the function of the MAGE genes is the motto of this lab. Some of these genes are expressed specifically in the male germ line and in certain cancerous cells; others are expressed in various somatic tissues during embryonic development, and in adults. To investigate the function of the MAGE proteins, the laboratory produced lines of transgenic mice deficient for several Mage proteins and the ongoing research is concentrated on phenotyping these mice. Also the cellular and molecular functions of these proteins are being addressed.

Laboratory of Physiology and Pharmacology

The main research axis relates to hyaluronan and some hyaluronidases. Hyaluronan (aka hyaluronic acid) is involved in physiological processes (e.g., urinary concentration in the renal medulla and migration of embryonic cells) and pathological events (e.g., inflammation, ischemia-reperfusion, tumor progression). The hyaluronidase Hyal-1 accounts for complete hyaluronan degradation in the tissues, whereas Hyal-2 cleaves hyaluronan into biologically active fragments. Our experimental models include Hyal-1 and Hyal-2 knock-out mice and cultured cells. Another project relates to the involvement of endothelin in cancer. The laboratory is also interested in pharmacogenetics.


The Department conducts several activities in research, teaching, training and exterior service, in medical psychology and health promotion. These activities require, in different fields, the practice of some methodologies borrowed from development psychology, cognitive psychology, experimental psychology and social psychology. The Department currently collaborates with organisations concerned with disability in the areas of rehabilitation technologies, affective and sexual education, the social representation and economic integration of disabled persons.


The research fields are focused on the design, the chemical synthesis and the biological evaluation of original molecules endowed with therapeutical interest. It is also interested in the physicochemical properties of new compounds (pKa, Log P,...)