Junior Professorship Chair / Tenure-track Position
Research profile : Abundant metals for asymmetric organic synthesis.
Teaching component: : UFR Sciences Fondamentales et Appliquées (SciFA) - Chemistry department.
Topic : Biomass valorisation is an important topic to mitigate climate change. Biofuels and green chemicals can be produced from lignocellulosic biomass such as wood. Lignin is the second most abundant macromolecule on earth (after cellulose). Thus, the lignin refining could produce aromatic compounds which are important building blocks currently obtained from crude oil. But, according to literature, the challenge remains in the develop of stable and selective catalysts to desoxygenate lignin. The goal of the M2 project, is to pursue the development of low cost, not toxic and selective catalysts free of noble metals such as iron, copper, nickel and cobalt. Here, metal supported catalysts will be synthesized from metallo-surfactant templating. This route, investigated in our laboratory, affords to prepare porous silica catalysts with well dispersed nanometric metallic clusters in the silica walls. Moreover, the combination of two different metallo-surfactants for the synthesis of the silica porous catalyst will be studied to aim the enhancement of the catalytic activity in the deoxygenation reaction (heterogeneous catalysis). After synthesis, the catalysts will be characterized in terms of texture, morphology, and metals content.
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Context: Organomagnesiates are bimetallic complexes that result in combining a “polar” (e.g. an organolithium) with a “soft” organometallic (e.g. organomagnesium), which behaviour is significantly different from those of the precursor. The principle is a synergy created by mixing two different organometallic reagents allowing increased selectivity and reactivity. Indeed, those reagents tolerate easier a bromine or ester function for example. They can as well be used under non-cryogenic conditions compared to the monometallic reagent. Moreover, those heterobimetallic reagents are from cheap and abundant metals which are the key towards the development of sustainable chemical processes. Combined with a chiral ligand, they also can be very powerful to induce enantioselectivity. In the last few years, we developed and studied (chirales) organomagnesiates complexes as metal-halogen agent for the synthesis of diversely (chirales) 3-substitued and 3,3’-disubstitued (aza)phthalides.
Research objectives: The aim of this project is to use organobimetallic complexes’ properties to develop an original straightforward way to access to (chiral) alkyl and (hetero)aromatic boronic ester using a specific key boron reagent, iPrBHCl.
Context of the PhD research
Human coronaviruses (HCoV) are enveloped RNA viruses associated with mild to severe respiratory infections in humans, such as colds and pneumonia. To date, there are no specific approved treatments for these HCoV infections. Thus, the development of anti-HCoV agents therefore remains a public health emergency. The objective of the VIPRO-COMBAT project is to synthesize photoactive supramolecular antiviral dots (SAD) assemblies, unique as an "intelligent" prodrug delivery system, allowing site-specific activation by the viral protease, thanks to attaching a peptide sequence to a virus inhibitor, such as an antimicrobial peptide. A “Lock and Release” system will ensure the controlled activation of the prodrugs, which are then activated by near-infrared light radiation at the level of the infected tissues. This will guarantee a functional and controlled multimodal antiviral approach, combining the advantages of optical and acoustic imaging based on the study of vibrations induced in matter by light. Another objective of the study will be to elucidate the interaction of SAD with the target cell by transcriptomic analysis, but also the impact of the treatment on the immune response and on the phenomena of inflammation. The project is therefore a proof of concept for the use of anti-infective prodrugs activated by a viral protease, associated with a fluorescence bio-imaging system and phototherapy.
Profile of the candidate
We look for a candidate holding (or near completion of) a Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry, Pharmacy or similar, with competitive marks, eligible to apply for PhD fellowships. A background in organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and/or chemical biology is highly recommended.
The PhD student will evolve in an environment composed of closely collaborating partner labs, such as CRAN (UL), RCSI (Dublin, Ireland) and LRGP (UL), with an international team composed of chemists, physicians, biologists, medical staff and pharmacists.
We offer a two-years postdoc position to work on organic synthesis of molecular photoswitches to in vivo evaluation of their toxicity and impact on T and Natural Killer cells. Within the frame of this project, both photophysical and biological properties will be determined. A good expertise in photobiology/photochemistry will be required and valued by combination with high expertise in immunology, cell biological, chemistry and photophysics and studies of L2CM and IMoPa. As a postdoctoral researcher, you will be attached to both laboratories, which are located in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France. Missions in Tanaka’s lab (Heidelberg University) will be planned to perform in live cell imaging and statistical analysis of cell dynamics.
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We offer a one-year postdoc position to work on organic synthesis of photoswitches triggering applications in photo-immunotherapy/phototherapy/imagery. You will be responsible and/or participate to the following tasks: • synthesis of photoswitching moieties, according to procedures already reported by L2CM (doi.org/10.1021/acs.joc.1c00598) • synthesis of corresponding photolipids • formulation into liposomes and physico-chemical characterization • participation in the supervision of PhDs, engineers, and trainees - restoring the results, communication at international conferences, participation in writing of manuscripts.
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We offer an 18-months postdoctoral position to work on the photophysical mechanism of molecular motors (or more generally photoswitches). You will be responsible and/or participate to the following tasks: • Study of the ground state structure and dynamics at molecular and assembled levels • Characterization of excited-state dynamics at molecular and assembled level • Participation in the supervision of PhDs, engineers, and trainees - restoring the results, communication at international conferences, participation in writing of manuscripts.
Keywords: ultrafast spectroscopy • self-assembling • photoswitches • molecular machines
This thesis position will be dedicated to 1) the multistep organic synthesis of fluorescent dyes with aggregation induced emission properties and bearing a functionality to attach them to polymeric carrier, 2) the preparation of polymers with tailored properties (amphiphilicity, stimuli-responsiveness) and side-chain or end-chain functionality to attach the AIEgen-dye, 3) the evaluation of self-assembly properties and characterization of the formed nanoparticles at nanoscale, 4) the evaluation of photophysical properties of dyes, dye-polymer conjugates and dyes nanoparticles, 4) the exploration of properties toward in vivo applications (photothermal production efficiency, photoacoustic response). In the framework of this project, competences in organic synthesis, polymer synthesis, photophysics and physical-chemistry and associated characterization techniques will be developed. The project is focusing on a multidisciplinary research area of great interest in academia and truly represents an opportunity for highly motivated graduate students. The selected candidate will also have the opportunity to interact proactively with a network of collaborators and will have the opportunity to use modern synthesis and characterization tools.
The PhD project will aim at synthesizing heterogeneous catalysts based on abundant metals, whose key parameters will be optimized: (i) textural properties of the supports, and in particular the stabilization of a hierarchical porosity, (ii) oxophilicity / acidity of the surface, (iii) and fine characteristics of the metals (dispersion, localization and composition). Thus, silica supports with hierarchical porosities will be synthesized, modified by the introduction of different oxide phases (ZrOx, TiOx, AlOx, ZnO), and then the metal phases (Ni, Fe, Co and Cu) will be dispersed in a controlled manner on the surface of the pores to obtain single atome to clustered supported catalysts. These catalysts will be studied for the HDO of model oxygenated molecules (m-cresol, anisole and guaiacol) under moderate hydrogen pressures (2-4 MPa) before being tested on real lignin in a reaction micropilot (IC2MP partner). The properties of the catalysts (activity, aromatic yield, and stability) will be rationalized by DFT studies conducted on the adsorption of model oxygenated molecules, taking into account the effect of H2O, CO and CO2 inhibitors (LPCT partner). All these results will allow the description of the reaction pathway and the obtaining of key kinetic data in real conditions of reaction conducted over lignin (at LRGP partner).
One of the main projects of our laboratory (L2CM, Nancy, France) aims at the design of photoactive organic molecules and metal complexes or applications in photomedicine or photovoltaics. In this context, applications are opened for a postdoctoral fellowship position funded by the European FEDER project entitled “FireLight: Photoactive molecules and nanoparticles” to investigate the ultrafast excited state dynamics of these photoactive systems. More specifically, the research program will focus on (1) the investigation of ultrafast photochemical processes behind Z/E photoisomerization of bioinspired molecular photoswitches and (2) the determination of the excited state properties of photoactive metal complexes.
We offer a two-years postdoc position to work on the chemical to in vivo development of ICG-based phototheranostic nanoparticles as mentioned above. Within the frame of this project, both the physico-chemical (nanoparticles formulation, chemical and photophysical analysis) and the biological (in cellulo and in vivo phototherapeutic activities evaluation) aspects will be investigated. A good expertise in photochemistry/photobiology will be required and valued by combination with high expertise in chemistry, physico-chemical engineering, photophysics and cellular/small animal biological studies of L2CM and CRAN. As a postdoctoral researcher, you will be attached to both laboratories, which are located in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France. You will be supervised by Y. Bernhard at L2CM and H-P Lassalle at CRAN.