Limna - Lausanne Integrative Metabolism Nutrition Alliance

Liliane Michalik

Center for Integrative Genomics - UNIL

PPAR-dependent control of the skin responses to environmental cues

Cells in our body must adapt to a constantly changing environment. They continually receive a whole repertoire of cues that our genome translates into cell responses by changing gene expression. To maintain appropriate cell responses, and thereby to maintain our body integrity, the control of gene expression is crucial, as misregulated gene expression programs can cause a broad range of diseases, including cancers.

Our overall goal is to understand how our cells integrate environmental cues and how they respond by adapting gene transcription. In this purpose, we study how the skin, our largest interface with the environment, responds to insults like mechanical injuries, allergens or sunlight Ultra Violet (UV) rays (a major environmental cue and a complete carcinogen). Notably, we explore how the nuclear hormone receptors PPARs control gene expression and skin cell responses to these environmental insults.

PPARs are ligand activated transcription factors that sense cues and transform them into transcriptional responses. As nuclear hormone receptors, they are activated by natural endogenous agonists, but can also be regulated by synthetic agonists or antagonists, what makes them very attractive drugable targets. We study PPAR-dependent regulations of skin responses to insults and of UV-induced skin cancers using genetically modified mice, organ and cell culture models, as well as genomic approaches.


  • Skin repair
  • UV induced skin cancer
  • Angiogenesis
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors


Liliane Michalik, PhD

Associate Professor

Director of the School of Biology

University of Lausanne

Center for Integrative Genomics

Genopode Building

CH-1015 Lausanne


Tel. +41 21 692 41 47

Fax. +41 21 692 41 15


Lab webpage