• Chemistry - Materials
  • Energy, Ecology, Environment
  • Quality of life - Health - Food

ICSN - Department of Chemical Biology

Research team


The Department of Chemical Biology (or chemobiology) is interested in the understanding of biological processes at the molecular and cellular level, but also their modulation and detection in living organisms. Processes of the plant, animal or bacterial world are studied such as the growth of plants, the metabolism of bacteria or pathogenic cells, oxidative stress in mammalian cells. This is made possible by the collaboration of chemists, biochemists and biologists grouped under two themes: probes and modulators for biological targets (https://icsn.cnrs.fr/recherche/cb/sondes-et-modulateurs-pour-cibles-biologiques/activites-de-recherche) and redox signaling / function of Fe-S proteins (https://icsn.cnrs.fr/recherche/cb/signalisation-redox-et-fonctions-des-proteines-fe-s), and of a platform for screening bioactive compounds, CIBI (https://icsn.cnrs.fr/plateformes/cibi).



Innovation themes

Lab of attachment

Map and access

1, avenue de la Terrasse

Our research areas


The department's activity is based on a range of extremely rich expertise, ranging from chemistry to molecular and cellular biology, through the biochemistry of proteins.
Organic and inorganic chemistry:
- design and synthesis of molecular probes and inhibitors
- click chemistry
- glycochemistry
- boron and lanthanide chemistry
- total synthesis

Molecular and cellular biology:
- evaluation of the viability and cell proliferation of angiogenesis and tumor vascularization
- studies of mechanisms of cell death, cell cycle regulation and chemoresistance phenomena
- homeostasis of iron and redox species

Phenotypic and High Throughput Screening (HTS) on isolated targets

Biochemistry and enzymology:
- production, purification and analysis of recombinant proteins
- protein-ligand and protein-protein interaction (amidotransferase, Fe-S protein, strigolactone receptors, etc.)
- test design, mechanistic study, catalysis and inhibition

Metabolic labeling:
- Gram negative and positive bacteria
- mammalian cells

Applications sectors

  • Health / wellness
  • Chemistry / Plastics (Glue, Plastic, Rubber...)

Total number of employees

Total number of employees : 24
Number of researchers : 9
Number of doctoral students : 5

Equipment(s) open to collaboration

Academic and industry:
- synthesis microwaves, flow chemistry, preparative HPLC
- cell culture rooms, microbiology room L1
- pipetting-diluter robots (Biomek Fx, Nx and Biomek 3000), flow cytometer, microplate readers
- epifluorescence microscope
- spectrophotometers of circular dichroism, UV-Visible absorption and fluorescence
- glove box


Our results

Valuation offer

- training in our areas of expertise: short sessions or laboratory reception of staff over long period, program à la carte or not, reception of doctoral scholarship CIFRE

Projects examples

- structural and functional characterizations of human Fe-S proteins
- determination of the mechanism of reception of strigolactones in vascular plants
- total synthesis of tiacumicyne B
- development of detection methods for pathogenic bacteria
- multimodal probe design for enzymatic activity imaging
- glycosylations with iron (III) salts

Industrial and scientific relations

Scientific collaborations

- France: the chemical biology department has several academic collaborations at the national level with chemistry and biology laboratories of different universities and organizations (CNRS, CEA, INSERM, INRA, Institut Pasteur, I2BC), LABEX (CHARMMMAT) and the hospital environment .
- Europe: University of Ghent (Belgium), Institute of Genetics and Livestock (Poland)

Private collaborations

Many industrial contracts (provision of equipment, collaboration, service provision) are regularly implemented with large companies, SMEs or startups in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food and scientific instrumentation sectors.


Establishments of affiliation