Integrative Chemical Biology

Scientific leaders

  • Marcel Hibert, Professor

  • Nelly Frossard, Research Director

Objectives and research domains

Our team belongs to the Laboratory of Excellence ‘MEDALIS Drug Discovery Center’, one of the two French academic research centers of excellence in the field of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry. We are also partners of the only Pole of excellence in Chemistry in France: ‘Frontier Research in Chemistry. Our objective is to rationalize and accelerate the discovery of small molecules to probe the mechanisms of life and discover innovative drug precursors. We have a specific interest in  G protein coupled receptors and their signaling pathways, but not only…. Our research articulates around three main axis :

  • Theme 1: Molecular diversity

    We contribute to explore and enlarge the chemical and pharmacophoric spaces in developing new synthetic methods that give access to original, drug-like scaffolds and in exploring natural resource diversity.

  • Theme 2: Chemical biology

    We develop diverse smart molecular probes to explore biological mechanisms, both in vitro and in vivo, in animals and man (agonists, antagonists, allosteric modulators, fluorescent ligands, PET ligands, etc.).

  • Theme 3: Therapy

    • Cancer and inflammation. We discovered the first neutraligands of chemokines and we study their mechanisms of action and their therapeutic potential in different pathologies such as asthma, dermatitis, cancer or rare diseases (WHIM syndrom). We have also discovered the first specific inhibitor of cancer stem cells (neuroglioblastoma) and we explore its pharmacology. In parallel, we identify novel biomarkers and we validate new therapeutic targets to initiate cutting-edge exploratory projects in the cancer/inflammation field.

    • Love and pain. We design and test the first drug-like agonists of the ocytocin/vasopressin receptors that are likely to act on social attachment behaviors and to benefit autist patients. In parallel we develop ligands acting on the RFamide receptor family to treat hyperalgesia.

    •  Parasite diseases. Starting from vegetals and algae, we exploit phylogenicity to rationalize the discovery of molecules acting on malaria and other parasite diseases.

The groups of research within the team

Chemistry / Medicinal chemistry / Natural substances:

Cell biology / Pharmacology: