Natural products are at the origin of many drugs on the market and represent a prodigious reservoir of chemical diversity for future drug leads. The discovery of bioactive ingredients in complex natural extracts, such as plants or microorganisms, is key not only for drug discovery but also for exploring the underlying molecular basis responsible for the therapeutic properties of phyto-preparations.
The group focuses on the in-depth characterization of the metabolome of natural extracts (plants and microorganisms), using MS and NMR-based strategies that accelerates the identification of bioactive metabolites (drug discovery) and biomarkers (metabolomics studies). In this framework we develop advanced analytical and computational methods to comprehensively study metabolomes and efficiently perform targeted isolation of key metabolites.
In vitro and in vivo bioassays (antifungal, antibacterial, antiparasitic, anticancer, zebrafish SNC assays…) are conducted in collaboration with research groups that have extensive expertise in the therapeutic targets of interest. The combination of our natural product prioritization workflows with advance bioassay results allows for the rapid identification of active scaffolds. The approaches include in particular chemometric approaches that integrate metabolomics data and constantly evolving mining tools.
The group has a strong expertise in full de novo identification of complex natural products isolated in the microgram range using state-of-the-art 1D and 2D NMR and HRMS/MS. Since a detailed 3D characterisation is needed, absolute configuration assignment include interpretation of ECD spectra or other related techniques.