Foti Michelangelo

Prof. Michelangelo Foti

Obesity and the metabolic syndrome, Group leader



Prof. Michelangelo FOTI's passing



Representative threedimensional reconstructions of computed tomography (CT) scans of DEN-induced hepatic tumors (in blue) in lean (Chow diet) and diet-induced obese (High-fat diet) mice. Tumoral masses are represented in blue. Gjrogjieva et al., Cells, 2022


Projects in my lab aim at better understanding the role of non-genomic alterations in hepatocytes contributing to the development of metabolic disorders associated with fatty liver disease (FLD) and their progression towards hepatocellular carcinoma HCC, with the end goal to find new diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic solutions. In this regard, my lab demonstrated how obesity, or HCV infection, trigger alterations in the hepatic expression/activity of important regulatory molecules (RNA-binding proteins such as TIA1 and TTP), microRNAs (miR-21, miR-22 and miR-149) and key cancer related factors (such as PTEN, S100 proteins, ERMP1) driving FLD development and progression towards HCC. Significant efforts are undertaken to develop the translational aspects of our research and interactions with clinicians. Finally, the lab regularly published comprehensive reviews for the scientific community, detailing the current state of research and new concepts regarding key factors involved in FLD and HCC.

Selected publications

  1. Gjorgjieva M, Ay AS, Correia de Sousa M, Delangre E, Dolicka D, Sobolewski C, Maeder C, Fournier M, Sempoux C and Foti M. miR-22 Deficiency Fosters Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development in Fatty Liver. Cells. 2022 Sep 14;11(18):2860. doi: 10.3390/cells11182860
  2. Dolicka D, Zahoran S, Correia de Sousa M, Gjorgjieva M, Sempoux C, Fournier M, Maeder C, Collart MA, Foti M*  and Sobolewski C*. TIA1 loss exacerbates fatty liver disease but exerts a dual role in hepatocarcinogenesis. Cancers. 2022 Mar, 14(7), 1704; * Equal contribution
  3. Correia de Sousa M, Calo N, Sobolewski C, Gjorgjieva M, Clément S, Maeder C, Dolicka D, Fournier M, Vinet L, Montet X, Dufour JF , Humar B, Negro F, Sempoux C and Foti M. Mir‑21 suppression promotes mouse hepatocarcinogenesis. Cancers. 2021 Oct, 13:4983. doi: 10.3390/cancers13194983.
  4. Dolicka, D, Sobolewski C, Gjorgjieva M, Correia de Sousa M, Berthou F, De Vito C, Colin DJ, Bejuy O, Fournier M, Maeder C, Blackshear PJ, Rubbia-Brandt L and Foti M. Tristetraprolin promotes hepatic inflammation and tumour intitiation but restrains cancer progression to malignancy. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2021;11(2):597-621. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2020.09.012
  5. Sobolewski C, Abegg D, Berthou F, Dolika D, Calo N, Sempoux C, Fournier M, Maeder C, Ay AS, Clavien PA, Humar B, Dufour JF, Adibekian A and Foti M. S100A11/ANXA2 belongs to a tumor suppressor/oncogene network deregulated early with steatosis and involved in inflammation and hepatocellular carcinoma development. Gut. 2020 Oct;69(10):1841-1854. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-319019