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Head of the research group

Professeur à l'Unistra


Le Bel Institute, 5th floor North

Secretarial and accounting services provided by

email : reiffste@unistra.fr
Phone : +33 (0)3 68 85 14 32

Permanent members

  • Valérie BERL
    Maître de conférence à l'Unistra
    Phone : +33 (0)
    email : vberl@unistra.fr
  • Jean-Pierre LEPOITTEVIN
    Professeur à l'Unistra
    Phone : +33 (0)
    email: jplepoit@unistra.fr
    Chargée de recherche CNRS
    Phone : +33 (0)
    email : egimenez@unistra.fr

Non-permanent members

PhD students:

  • Minh KHONG

Description of the research group

Studies of the interactions between molecules of our environment and the skin in relation with dermatological pathologies.

Research topics

1- Action mechanisms of skin allergens

  • Synthesis and hemi-synthesis of isotope stable (13C, 2H) substituted chemicals.
  • Characterization by HRMAS (High-Resolution Magic Angle Spinning) NMR of reaction mechanisms of skin and respiratory allergens with reconstructed human epidermis.
  • Skin metabolism studies of fragrance chemicals and drugs by HRMAS NMR.
  • Development of alternative methods to animal experiments for the detection of skin allergens.


2- Photo-activable chemicals of dermatological interest

  • Synthesis of new photo-activable molecules derived from lactones.
  • Photo-reactivity studies of photo-activable molecules towards DNA and oligonucleotides.
  • Characterization of formed photo-adducts by NMR.

3- Contribution of radical reactions to mechanisms of skin sensitization and other dermo-oxidative  

  • Synthesis of skin allergens substituted by carbon-13 atoms at position of radical formation.
  • Evidence of radical formation by EPR and spin trapping.
  • Reactivity studies of radical intermediates towards amino acids, peptides and proteins.
  • Radical formation from skin allergens and danger signals in reconstructed human epidermis (EPR and in situ spin trapping).
  • Immune response associated to radical formation.
  • Anti-/pro-oxidative action of xenobiotics in the skin.

Key publications

Moussallieh F-M, Moss E, Elbayed K, Lereaux G, Tourneix F, Lepoittevin JP.
Modifications induced by chemical skin allergens on the metabolome of reconstructed human epidermis : a pilot HRMAS NMR study
Contact Dermatitis
, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1111/cod.13415

Sahli F, Godard A, Vileno B, Lepoittevin JP, Giménez-Arnau E.
Formation of methyl radicals derived from cumene hydroperoxide in reconstructed human epidermis : an EPR spin trapping confirmation by using 13C-substitution
Free Radical Research
, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1080/10715762.2019.1624741  

Kuresepi S, Vileno B, Turek P, Lepoittevin JP, Giménez-Arnau E.
Potential of EPR spin-trapping to investigate in situ free radicals generation from skin allergens in reconstructed human epidermis : cumene hydroperoxide as proof of concept
Free Radic Res,
2018, 52, 171-79

Moss E, Debeuckelaere C, Berl V, Elbayed K, Moussellieh F-M, Namer, I-J, Lepoittevin JP.
In situ metabolism of cinnamyl alcohol in reconstructed human epidermis : new insights into the activation of this fragrance skin sensitizer
Chem Res Toxicol
, 2016, 29, 1172-78

Photo gallery

A small overview of our research group