In the MITO-DYNAMICS project, we want to understand the molecular, metabolic and structural changes that mitochondria – the biological powerhouses of all our cells – undergo in the muscle during ageing and in muscle wasting caused by a lack of exercise or by a disease such as cancer?

MITO-DYNAMICS (ANR-18-CE45-0016-01) is an interdisciplinary research projects financed by the ANR and unites four research teams at the Aix-Marseille University coming from computational, as well as experimental biology.

Composition of the interdisciplinary MITO-DYNAMICS research consoritum:

Team Habermann: Computational Biology (Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, IBDM UMR 7288, official team-website)

The computational biology team at the IBDM focuses on data analysis, integration and visual data mining (VMD). The VMD platform mitoXplorer will be central to the MITO-DYNAMICS project, providing the computational framework for data analysis, integration and visualization and help us understand the complex mitochondrial dynamics in the muscle and in muscle wasting during ageing.

Participiating team members:

Bianca Habermann

Group Leader

Stephen Chapman



financed by ANR

Fabio Marchiano


(until 02/2022)

financed by ANR

Margaux Haering



financed by ANR

Team Schnorrer: Muscle Dynamics (Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, IBDM UMR 7288, official team web-site)

Frank Schnorrer, a cell and developmental biologist, pioneered the dynamic in vivo studies of muscle morphogenesis over the last 10 years. Using the strength of Drosophila, he was able to systematically identify genes essential for muscle fate specification and myofibrillogenesis. With this grant the lab will extend to investigate mitochondrial dynamics in the fly muscle model.

Participiating team members:

Frank Schnorrer

Group Leader

Nuno Luis


Jerome Avellaneda


Christophe Pitaval


Team Carrier: Cellular Stress (Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, INSERM, CRCM UMR 1068)

The team of Alice Carrier is interested since many years in the link between inflammation, oxidative stress and cancer. The general objective of her team is to unveil the impact of mitochondria in pancreatic cancer cells aggressiveness and resistance to therapy, allowing the development of new preclinical assays targeting mitochondria. In this grant, she will turn her attention to the role of mitochondria and mitochondrial metabolism in muscle wasting during ageing and in a pancreatic cancer mouse model.

Participiating team members:

Alice Carrier

Group Leader

Tristan Gicquel


financed by ANR

Rawand Masoud

CDD Postdoc Fondation ARC

Gabriela Reyes-Castellanos

PhD Conacyt Fellowship

Laurence Borge


Team Giannesini: Musculoskeletal System (Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, CRMBM UMR 7339)

Benoit's team are experts in the noninvasive investigation of skeletal muscle function using multimodal nuclear magnetic resonance methods. His team possesses knowledge and state-of-art equipment without equivalent in the world for assessing muscle anatomy, mechanical performance and bioenergetics in normal and pathological murine models. Especially, Benoit’s research focuses on the in vivo characterization of mitochondrial capacity and regulation under healthy and pathophysiological conditions, as well as the evaluation of pharmaceutical and behavioral therapeutic approaches for improving mitochondrial function in vivo.

Participiating team members:

Benoit Giannesini

Group Leader

Nathalie Cuge


Christophe Vilmen


Yann Lefur


Publications funded by the MITO-DYNAMICS research grant:

Marchiano F, Haering M, Habermann BH. The mitoXplorer 2.0 update: integrating and interpreting mitochondrial expression dynamics within a cellular context. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 May 7;50(W1):W490-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkac306. PMID: 35524562

Haering M and Habermann BH. RNfuzzyApp: an R shiny RNA-seq data analysis app for visualisation, differential expression analysis, time-series clustering and enrichment analysis [version 2; peer review: 3 approved]. F1000Research 2021, 10:654 (

Meiler A, Marchiano F, Haering M, Weitkunat M, Schnorrer F, Habermann BH. AnnoMiner is a new web-tool to integrate epigenetics, transcription factor occupancy and transcriptomics data to predict transcriptional regulators. Sci Rep. 2021 Jul 29;11(1):15463. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-94805-1. PMID: 34326396.

Jerome Avellaneda, Clement Rodier, Fabrice Daian, Thomas Rival, Nuno Miguel Luis, Frank Schnorrer. Myofibril and mitochondria morphogenesis are coordinated by a mechanical feedback mechanism in muscle. Nat Commun 12, 2091 (2021).

Kaya-Çopur A, Marchiano F, Hein MY, Alpern D, Russeil J, Luis NM, Mann M, Deplancke B, Habermann BH, Schnorrer F. The Hippo pathway controls myofibril assembly and muscle fiber growth by regulating sarcomeric gene expression. Elife. 2021 Jan 6;10:e63726. doi: 10.7554/eLife.63726. PMID: 33404503; PMCID: PMC7815313.

Masoud R, Reyes-Castellanos G, Lac S, Garcia J, Dou S, Shintu L, Abdel Hadi N, Gicquel T, El Kaoutari A, Diémé B, Tranchida F, Cormareche L, Borge L, Gayet O, Pasquier E, Dusetti N, Iovanna J, Carrier A. Targeting Mitochondrial Complex I Overcomes Chemoresistance in High OXPHOS Pancreatic Cancer. Cell Rep Med. 2020 Nov 17;1(8):100143. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2020.100143. PMID: 33294863; PMCID: PMC7691450.

Yim A, Koti P, Bonnard A, Marchiano F, Dürrbaum M, Garcia-Perez C, Villaveces J, Gamal S, Cardone G, Perocchi F, Storchova Z, Habermann BH. mitoXplorer, a visual data mining platform to systematically analyze and visualize mitochondrial expression dynamics and mutations. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jan 24;48(2):605-632. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz1128. PubMed PMID: 31799603; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6954439.

Software development funded by the MITO-DYNAMICS research grant: