Research group “metals in biology and redox homeostasis”

Photo Laurent Cattiaux

Who are we?

We are a group of chemists and biologists with broad and complementary skills (organic synthesis, from peptide chemistry to organometallic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, bio-inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, spectroscopy, imaging and cell biology, redox homeostasis, zebrafish). We like to do inorganic chemistry in biological environments, with the cells as our playground and with a special interest to oxidative stress in a range of different context (inflammatory diseases, cancer, normal homeostasis). The former group “metals in biology” was recently joined by three biologists with a strong interest in redox homeostasis and a very interesting zebrafish model.

Our expertise

The group has a wide range of expertise:
-design of molecular objects with their synthesis: enzyme mimes, anti-cancer agents, metal-centered probes
-physico-chemical studies: UV-vis, IR, Fluorescence, but also electron paramagnetic resonance. To be noted: the recent acquisition of a stopped flow system coupled to a UV-visible observation
-cellular biology: in particular mastery of cellular models of oxidative stress, with analytical approaches: quantification by ICP-MS, speciation by various MS techniques.
-sub-cellular imaging, with original modalities such as IR imaging or X-ray fluorescence, mainly on synchrotron lines
-zebrafish rearing, transparent: ideal for optogenetics
-molecular genetics focused on redox signaling

Group composition

Alice Balfourier
Hélène Bertrand
Nicolas Desluc
Clotilde Policar
Christine Rampon
Michel Volovitch
Sophie Vriz

Our credo: moving forward together and remaining ourselves

“Simul and singulis” is the motto of the Comédie Française: “being together and remain ourselves”. Indeed, as a theater troupe, we play alternately the main character, as principal investigator, or the secondary roles in the projects of others. Join us for a bigger play!


We are members of the “laboratoire des BioMolécules” or LBM, that can be described as a large research institute, with about a hundred researchers working at the frontier of chemistry and biology and playing with biomolecules. LBM belongs to the chemistry department of the Ecole normale supérieure-PSL. LBM is financially supported by the following institutions: the Ecole normale supérieure (ENS-PSL), Paris Sciences et Lettres university (PSL university), Sorbonne university (SU), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Institut de chimie du CNRS. We wish to warmly thank all of these institutions, which make our work possible.

The group is a member of the FrenchBIC, French network in bioinorganic chemistry.

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