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PSL* Chemical Biology Symposium, year one

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Under the aegis of the University Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL), Raphaël Rodriguez Organic Synthesis and Cell Biology (Institut Curie/CNRS/Inserm) and Arnaud Gautier Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory (École Normale Supérieure/CNRS) organized the first symposium on the emergent theme: the Chemical Biology.

The first PSL* Chemical Biology Symposium took place in Institut Curie on December 8-9th. This event aimed to present the latest innovations and future trends in chemical biology. Chemical biology approaches enable the conception and discovery of powerful molecules to observe and virtually manipulate any cellular process.

The design of molecular probes and small molecules suitable for cell imaging and the isolation of mechanistic targets remains a worthy challenge. Unbiased approaches based on small molecule intervention allow researchers to address problems of a biological nature that would otherwise remain elusive. Beyond these academic applications, chemical biology methods can provide tools for addressing important problems of our world. For example, small molecules able to restore and correct biological functions in the context of human diseases can potentially illuminate cell biology and have a transformative impact in medicine.

Personalized medicine could also benefit from a combination of chemical biology, genome and disease biology to establish novel diagnostic tools and alternative therapeutic approaches. Chemical biology also plays a major role in the development of new renewable energies and sustainable materials, in particular through the combination of knowledge in biosynthetic pathways, metabolic engineering and bioinformatics by providing new materials on demand with unprecedented properties.

According to Franck Perez, Dynamics of Intra-Cellular Organization team (Institut Curie/CNRS/UPMC), “these two days brought together some of the best specialists of the field. Talks related to chemical biology, molecular evolution or synthetic biology were astonishing.” The scientist is confident that chemical biology will lead to new trails for both cellular and translational research. The meeting will expand new horizons thanks to new collaborations which are being set up.

This successful meeting is the first of a new significant PSL* symposium annual rendez-vous on chemical biology in Europe.

Image © Cedric BLOUIN / Institut Curie