• E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 5 61 15 84 27
  • Location : Toulouse, France
Last update 2017-08-29 17:33:26.231

Michel Simon Research Director, PhD Biological Sciences, Biochemical Engineer

Course and current status

INSERM-University of Toulouse U1056
« Différenciation Epithéliale et Autoimmunité Rhumatoïde », UDEAR
CHU Purpan, Place du Dr Baylac TSA40031, 31059 TOULOUSE Cedex 9


2002: Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches. University of Toulouse III.
1988: Ph D. University of Geneva (Switzerland).
1983: Master degree, Molecular Biology. University of Geneva.
1982: Biochemical engineer. Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon.


1998-2009: CR1 INSERM, UMR5165.
1990-1998: Post-doctoral position (Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Toulouse ; Prof. Guy SERRE)
1988-1990: Post-doctoral position (Department of Genetic, CHUL, Québec, Canada; Prof. Robert TANGUAY)


- European Society for Dermatological Research
- French Society for Dermatological Research (Société de Recherche Dermatologique)


1999 – 2003: French Society for Dermatological Research board Member (Secretary of the Society from May 2001 to May 2003).
2002 – 2005: French Society For Dermatology scientific-board Member.
2002 - 2010: Scientifc-board Member, Centre Européen de Recherche sur la Peau et les Epithéliums de Revêtement (CERPER), Pierre Favre Company, Toulouse.
From March 2005 : Board Member, Purpan School of Medicine Council (University of Toulouse).
2007-2010 : IFR30 then IFR150 Board Member.
From January 2003 : Member of the UDEAR Executive Committee.


Expertise fields: biochemistry and cell biology, cutaneous biology, keratinocyte differentiation, stratum corneum properties and functions.
Reviewer for the following Reviews: J Invest Dermatol, PLoS ONE, British J Dermatol, Exp Dermatol, Arch Dermatol Res, Ann Dermatol Venereol, J Mol Med, Carcinogenesis, etc. Board Member of « The Open Dermatology Journal » (ISSN 1874-3722).
PLOS ONE associate Editor
Participation to 23 PhD Jury between 2002 et 2017 (14 times reporter) and reporter of 3 HDR diploma.
Supervisor of 10 PhD students
Expertise of research projects submitted to the Dutch Technology Foundation STW (Nederland), the French agency ANR, the Région Rhône-Alpes (France), etc.


Sept. 2008 : Annual Meeting of the French Society for Dermatological Research (CARD). 120 participants.
 Nov. 2008 : 6th meeting of the European Epidermal Barrier Research Network, 60 participants.


Seven reseach projects founded from 2005 by the French Society for Dermatological Research, the French Society for Dermatology, the CERPER annual call, and a specific CNRS call for a total amount of  458.5 keuros.


Proteomic characterization of human epidermal lamellar bodies - CNRS specific Programme « Proteomic and protein engineering »; 2004-2005.
 Hornerin et filaggrin-2, two new filaggrin-related epidermal proteins – Fonctionnal characterisation, expression in normal and atopic dermatitis epidermis – Annual call, CERPER ; 2007-2010.


Eighty original publications and reviews referenced in PubMed (h factor = 30), 17 book chapters and 5 patents.

Scientific summary

Our ambition is to define at a molecular level the formation of the epidermal cornified layer, a vital barrier between the organism and its environment, and the origin of its defects in several skin diseases. Our recently performed large-scale proteomic analyses of the granular keratinocytes allowed us to identify a huge number of new proteins potentially involved in the epidermal barrier functions. We are studying some of them. Analyzing proteins of the RAB family, we will decipher the mechanisms of secretion by the granular keratinocytes, a key event to establish the barrier. We  study the physiological importance of deimination using the epidermis as a model, notably to identify pharmacological agents able to regulate this posttranslational modification of proteins; we characterize two filaggrin-related proteins, and study their role in atopic dermatitis. We develop reconstructed skin models to study the impact of over-expression or down-regulation of some of these proteins.

Our projects connect the lab bench to the patient bed and may pave the way to the discovery of new therapeutical targets; they are based on complementary technologies in a multidisciplinary approach and rely on a network of international collaborations and some fundings from the Pierre FABRE Dermo-Cosmétique and other industrial partners.

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