Chemical Biology of Cancer

Group Leader

Raphaël Rodriguez was born in 1978 in Avignon. He performed his PhD studies under the supervision of Prof Sir Jack E. Baldwin and Prof Maurice Santelli at the University of Oxford and in Marseille, where he completed the synthesis of structurally complex natural products by means of pericyclic processes. He joined The University of Cambridge in November 2005 as a postdoctoral fellow, working under the mentorship of Prof. Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, where his work led to the invention of the potent G-quadruplex targeting small molecule pyridostatin. Together with Prof. Steve Jackson (Gurdon Institute, UK), they firmly established a link between G-quadruplex DNA structures and genomic instability. Raphaël joined the CNRS as a group leader in 2012 and was promoted Director of Research at Institut Curie in 2017. His recent achievements include the development of the anti-aging small molecule remodelin, the first chemical synthesis of the complex natural product marmycin and the iron metabolism targeting drug ironomycin. His group has recently elucidated the mechanism of action of salinomycin against cancer stem cells and identified a role of iron in the maintenance of these cells. The group has also provided evidence for a role of chromatin in regulating genome targeting with cisplatin.

Awards and Nominations

  • 2019 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Franco-British Young Leaders
  • K2 Trophy in oncology
  • Pierre Fabre Award for Therapeutic Innovation
  • ERC Consolidator Award
  • Emergence Ville de Paris Award
  • Junior Scientists Participation Program 48th Bürgenstock Conference
  • Fournier-SFC Prize