Université de Strasbourg

Wojciech Krezel & Alain Wagner

Biography - Wojciech Krezel

Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC) - INSERM, University of Strasbourg

Wojciech Krezel, USIAS Fellow 2018

Dr. Wojciech Krezel graduated from the Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland in 1992 and completed his PhD in molecular genetics and developmental biology at Strasbourg’s Louis Pasteur University in 1997. As a Fellow of the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), he joined the laboratory of Professor Paul Chapman at Cardiff University (1998-2001, Wales, UK) for post-doctoral training in neuroscience where he gained experience in electrophysiology and animal behavior. From 2001 to 2005, he contributed to the design, validation and running of the behavioral phenotyping platform at Mouse Clinical Institute (ICS) in Illkirch, France. In 2005 he joined the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and has led research projects at IGBMC, focusing on the role of nuclear hormone receptors in the development and functions of the central nervous system.

His pioneering discoveries include the identification of the role of retinoid receptor signaling in brain functions including motor control, affective behaviors and memory functions. Upstream and downstream control of such signaling is the focus of his present interests and has allowed the recent identification of the first endogenous retinoid acting as the physiological ligand of retinoid X receptor and, moreover, the filing of three patents focused on new strategies of treatment of Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders.

Biography - Alain Wagner

Laboratory of Design and Application of Bioactive Molecules (CAMB), University of Strasbourg

Alain Wagner, USIAS Fellow 2018

Dr. Alain Wagner received a PhD in organic chemistry from Louis Pasteur University (1991, Strasbourg, France), followed by a post-doctoral fellowship with Professor Peter Schultz at Affymax Research Institute (1991-1993, Palo Alto, USA). He joined the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in 1994 to develop projects around combinatorial approaches in drug discovery. After being promoted to research director in 2001, Alain Wagner took a sabbatical to found and manage Novalix Pharma (2002). He later participated actively in the creation of eNovalys  (2009) a company that invested in digital technology in order to become a major component of the research workflow by funneling and exploiting raw experimental data as a source of innovation.

On returning to the CNRS (2008) he took the lead of the research team “Functional Chemo-Systems” where he has investigated the possibilities offered by controlling synthetic reactivity in complex media for biomolecules engineering and, more recently, for interfering with living organisms. In order to exploit latest results and patents, Alain Wagner has recently co-founded Syndivia SAS, which provides advanced technologies for drug bio-conjugation / drug release. Alain Wagner has published more than 140 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has 19 patents in his name.

Project - A novel Biorthogonal chemistry-based approach for the study of bioactive molecules in vivo

October 2018 - August 2022

Although recent developments in dedicated analytic technologies facilitate the identification and studies of small bioactive molecules, researchers still encounter difficulties when dealing with low abundant molecules, facing detection difficulties or the instability of some classes of molecules. In this project we bring together expertise in biology and chemistry to validate a new method for integrative, multilevel analyses of small molecules in a complex biological environment. Such a method is based on a highly biospecific reaction, which we recently demonstrated to be suitable for efficient targeting of an exogenous molecule in vivo. We now propose to apply this new approach to endogenous small bioactive lipids using specialised chemospecific-probes, thus enabling the determination of metabolic fate, identification of relevant metabolic enzymes and receptors, and control of bioavailability. The data obtained is expected to validate existing knowledge and address unanswered questions in biology. It should also pave new ways to interrogate the physiology and pathology of biological process.

Post-doc biography - Mohamad Rima

Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC), INSERM, University of Strasbourg

Mohamad Rima

Mohamad Rima studied biochemistry and applied biotechnology at the Lebanese University, Lebanon. In 2016, he obtained his PhD degree in neuroscience at Grenoble Alpes University, France. During his thesis, he described new cellular functions of beta4 subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels including the regulation of cell proliferation, cell cycle and gene expression.

After obtaining his PhD, he joined the group of Dr. Elim Hong at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, to study the role of the cholinergic system in neuronal network wiring during early development. 

Within this USIAS project, Dr. Rima will contribute his expertise in both cell biology and zebrafish development to validate a new method for visualising and analysing small bioactive molecules in a complex biological environment.

France 2030