Endothelial dysfunction & Cell miscommunication

Group members:
                       Professor, Group leader (DR1 INSERM) / Head of Team 1 / Group leader

Christophe Guignabert joined Inserm in 2009 and is now Research Director (DR1; Professor), expert in Molecular & Cellular Biology associated to Pulmonary Hypertension research – Christophe Guignabert is graduated from the University Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC) in France with a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Cardiovascular Research. His research focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind the process of vascular remodeling in Pulmonary Hypertension in order to identify and validate new therapeutic targets. In particular, his research is focused on how dysfunction in the BMP/TGF-β superfamily modulates the phenotypic heterogeneity of the pulmonary endothelium and on how pulmonary endothelial cells interact with their environment.

   Pr. Laurent Savale, MD, PhD

                               Professor of Respiratory Medecine

Dr. Laurent Savale joined the Dr. Christophe Guignabert's group to study mechanisms underlying pulmonary complications of liver diseases and identify circulating biomarkers. Dr. Savale has obtained a clinical research contract - Interface Clinique Inserm/AP-HP. Dr. Savale also participates to the clinical research at the National Reference Centre for PH, Department of Respiratory and Intensive Care Medicine, Bicêtre Hospital.

   Dr. Marie-Camille Chaumais, PharmD, PhD

                               Hospital-university pharmacist

Dr. Marie-Camille Chaumais, pharmacist, joined the INSERM research unit to complete her PhD under the supervision of Pr German-Fattal and Pr Marc Humbert, with a defense in 2012 on non-vasodilatory therapies in pulmonary hypertension. Marie-Camille practices as a hospital-university pharmacist, attached to the Faculty of Pharmacy (in Clinical Pharmacy department) of the University Paris-Saclay and at the Department of Pharmacy of Bicêtre Hospital.

Marie-Camille's research focuses on the early detection of drugs involved in the development of pulmonary hypertension and the understanding of the underlying physiopathological mechanisms. In particular, she is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pulmonary endothelial dysfunction in PAH. Part of her research is also devoted to the therapeutic optimization of the management of patients suffering from pulmonary hypertension by identifying and reducing medication errors or by promoting therapeutic adherence.
   Dr. Vanessa Petit, PhD

                                 Associate Professor (Paris-Saclay University)

Vanessa Petit joined Christophe Guignabert's team in October 2023. She holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry from Pierre and Marie Curie University and was appointed an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris-Saclay University in 2011. Her teaching responsabilities primarly encompass biochemistry and anatomy/physiology courses for students ranging from L1 to M1 levels. Prior to her current role, she worked within Paul-Henri Romeo's team at the CEA of Fontenay-aux-Roses, where her research focused on various aspects of immunity and inflammation in different pathological contexts until September 2023.

In her current position with Christophe Guignabert's team, her research is concentrated on identifying the inflammatory and immune disorders that contribute to the vascular changes observed in PAH. More specifically, her project aims to shed light on whether inflammation plays a causative role or is a consequence of the functional and structural alterations within the pulmonary circulation in PAH.

LyTu    Dr. Ly Tu, PhD

                                    Research Associate (IR Université Paris-Saclay)
Dr. Ly TU joined Marc Humbert's lab, UMR_S 999, in October 2009. He obtained his Ph.D in 2012 focusing on "Endothelial Dysfunction in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension" under the supervision of Dr. Christophe Guignabert and Pr Marc Humbert. He has a Research Associate position at the Université Paris-Saclay, France, since October 2013.
Currently, he is working in Dr. Christophe Guignabert's group and he is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pulmonary endothelial dysfunction in PAH. In particular, he is investigating the cross-talk between pulmonary endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, pericytes and immune cells.

   Raphaël Thuillet
                                  Engineer (IECN INSERM)

Raphaël Thuillet joined Dr Guignabert's team in March 2013 as an Engineer. He graduated from the Paris-Diderot University with a B.Sc. Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Physiology in 2012. He obtained his position at INSERM in 2019. Raphaël is involved in different research programs and he is in charge of the implementation of the preclinical studies performed by the team. He is also implementing several techniques to determine which genes are actived in the different tissues at different stages of the disease development.

    Mina Ottaviani


Mina Ottaviani joined Dr Guignabert's group in December 2019 as an Assistant Engineer. She received a B.Sc. in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2018 from the Université Paris-Sud. Mina is in charge of the maintenance and genotyping of the transgenic lines used in the different research projects. She also localised different proteins of interest in lung and cardiac tissues.

    Corinne Normand


Corinne Normand joined Dr Guignabert's team in October 2022 as an Engineer. She received a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Bioanalysis and Controls from E.S.T.B.A (Graduate school of applied biology techniques) and a professional bachelor's degree in Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnologies. Corinne is involved in all the projects led in the team for which she is implementing different molecular biology techniques to better understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind the vascular remodeling and inflammation in pulmonary hypertension (PH) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH).

   Maxime Surbier


Maxime Surbier joined Dr. Guignabert's team in October 2023 as an engineer. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences and a Master's degree in Biotherapies: Tissue, Cell, Gene from Paris-Saclay University. Maxime is implementing molecular, cellular, and histological analyses to better understand endothelial dysfunction in pulmonary arterial hypertension.

    Dr. Fabien Robert, PharmD

                                   PhD student

Fabien Robert is a PhD student at the Université Paris-Saclay under the supervision of Dr. Ly Tu and Dr. Laurent Savale. He received his PharmD degree from the Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier and his Master degree in Stem Cell Biology from Sorbonne University. The aim of his thesis is to improve our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the two frequent pulmonary vascular complications of liver diseases, namely hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) and portopulmonary hypertension (PoPH). Using samples from HPS and PoPH patients and from in-vivo models, this research aims to identify novel panels of biomarkers and therapeutic targets that will ultimately change clinical practice and decrease both morbidity and mortality.

   Feriel Benchenouf

                                PhD student

Feriel Benchenouf is a PhD student at the Université Paris-Saclay under the supervision of Dr. Ly Tu and Dr. Christophe Guignabert. In 2020, she graduated with Master of Science in Molecular and Cell Biology Master from Sorbonne University. Her thesis seeks to better understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the microvascular dysfunction associated with Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH). More specifically, she is studying how changes in oxygen environment and shear stress may contribute to the (dys)function of the microvascular endothelial cells in CTEPH and PAH.

    Dr. My Ngoc Ha, PharmD

                                   PhD student

My Ngoc HA, a pharmacist from Vietnam, is a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Guignabert and Dr. Ly Tu. She joined Dr. Guignabert's team in October 2022 after completing the master's program at Paris Saclay University, majoring in Pharmacology. Her Ph.D. project focuses on the relation between angiogenesis and pathophysiology of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) and Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH). The objective of this work is to better understand the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, especially the binding between the placental growth factor and decoy receptor VEGFR-1, which remains unclear.

    Dr. Alessandra Cuomo, MD

                                   PhD student

Alessandra Cuomo joined the “Endothelial dysfunction & Therapeutic innovation” team in May 2023 as part of her PhD program, which she is pursuing in Italy under the supervision of Dr. Valentina Mercurio. She is a specialized physician in internal medicine, with a degree from the University Federico II of Naples, Italy.

Her work with Dr. Guignabert and Pr. Savale’s team focuses on the pathophysiology of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and the associated microvasculopathy. Specifically, her research examines the utility and potential role of novel serum biomarkers in patients with CTEPH.

Alessandra has been awarded a scholarship from the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to support her research in France.

   Thomas Jaffrezic
                                  Master student
Thomas joined Dr. Guignabert’s Lab for an MSc program (Life Sciences with a focus on Integrative Pathophysiology, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes). Under the supervision of Raphaël Thuillet and Dr. Ly Tu, Thomas's primary focus is on the identification of potential dysfunctions within signaling pathways that could play a crucial role in the development of microvasculopathy in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH).