Université de Strasbourg

Line Bourel


Line Bourel

Line Bourel is a professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Strasbourg and will join the Laboratory for Therapeutic Innovation (LIT) in 2024.

With degrees in pharmacy and organic chemistry, she completed her training with a PhD in combinatorial chemistry under the supervision of Professors André Tartar and Benoît Déprez at the Pasteur Institute of Lille (France), in collaboration with Glaxo (Dr. François Hyafil) in 1994-1997. After a short working period at Cerep S.A. (now Eurofins), she became an assistant professor in medicinal chemistry at the University of Lille in Professor Hélène Gras-Masse’s group in September 1997. A post-doctoral internship at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) with Professor A. Ganesan in 2001, the defense of her habilitation to conduct research in 2003 and a 6-month leave for research preceded her promotional transfer to the University of Strasbourg in 2006.

For the three last decades, Line Bourel has transmitted her knowledge and expertise situated at the interface between pharmacy and chemistry. She has evolved several times in the research themes she has developed both in Lille and Strasbourg (combinatorial and heterocyclic chemistry, automated synthesis, chemical ligation, vectorization...), while remaining at the interface between chemistry and biology, often in collaboration with the industrial world. The common denominator of her research is the use of chemistry to address scientific questions arising in life sciences and pharmacy with original synthetic tools. In addition to a tropism towards methodology (solid phase, microwaves, physico-chemistry of nanoparticles...), her fields of investigation are oncology (targeting of anticancer drugs, inhibition of neoangiogenesis, synthetic anti-tumor vaccines) and infectiology, in terms of therapeutics (antiparasitic and antituberculotic agents), fundamentals (studies of viral fusion and intracellular trafficking) and prevention (immunoadjuvants, synthetic lipopeptide- and nanoparticle-based vaccines).

Line Bourel was deputy director of the university’s Faculty of Pharmacy (2013-2018) and training manager at ITI InnoVec (2020-2022), while maintaining a research activity within a CNRS/university accredited team at the Faculty of Pharmacy (2007-2023: UMR 7199 CAMB; 2024-...: UMR 7200 LIT). She currently chairs the French Association of Teachers in Medicinal Chemistry (AFECT). In 2022, she was elected a national correspondent of the French Academy of Pharmacy (AcadPharm).

Project summary


Among the microbial causes for nosocomial infections, multiresistant fungi are very much incriminated (over 1 billion cases and over 1.5 million deaths per year worldwide) but research on this topic has been somewhat left behind, even neglected, especially in comparison to what is – fortunately - done to fight against multiresistant bacteria. Yet, invasive fungal diseases due to multiresistant species of Candida, Aspergillus, Cryptococcus or of the Mucorales order, are serious life-threatening infections, often occurring in immunocompromised hospitalized patients, and consequently deserve significant scientific attention. Recently, the World Health Organization has drawn attention to this alarming public health problem and has encouraged research in this area.

Line Bourel proposes to implement the antifungal arsenal with original substances whose synthesis will be based on her experience. Their activity will be evaluated against fungal strains.

For this, her mycologist partner, Dr. Alina Marcela Sabou (UR7292, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospitals of Strasbourg (HUS)) has a collection of pathogenic fungi, including multi-resistant strains, originating from patients hospitalized at HUS. Structure-activity relationships will be established.

Some model active substances will be selected for further experiments in chemical biology and physical chemistry in order to explore and document their mode of action. Additional partners, Drs. Dominique Bonnet and Julie Karpenko (UMR 7200 LIT) and Drs. Sofiane El Kirat-Chatel and Fabienne Quilès (UMR7564, LCPME, CNRS/University of Lorraine, France) will participate in these functional investigations.

The use of fluorescence microscopy, infra-red and Raman spectroscopies and atomic force microscopy on fungal strains will enrich the scientific knowledge on these new compounds’ modalities of action. Structure-physicochemical property relationships will be established to orientate pharmacomodulation towards drug candidates.

Fellowship 2023

Dates - 01/01/2024-31/12/2025

France 2030