Category: Biography

Sonia Contel


Sonia Cantel

Assistant Professor-HDR, Faculty of Sciences/ Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montpellier

Sonia Cantel obtained her PhD in 2004 in Chemistry of Biomolecules from the University of Montpellier, under the supervision of Dr. J-A Fehrentz, in the field of pseudo-peptide and solid phase organic synthesis. Then, she joined the group of Pr. M. Chorev for the following two years as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Laboratory for Translational Research (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA). She actively participated to biomedicinal projects where chemistry plays a critical role but also required the input of other scientific disciplines. In this interdisciplinary research environment, she developped extensive skills in analytical techniques applied to protein engineering. Her accomplishments included development of new methodologies for synthesis of glycated antigenic peptides and in situ templated assembly of fragments to generate potent inhibitors of protein-protein interaction.

She joined in 2007 the group of Professor J. Martinez as an Assistant-Professor at the University of Montpellier in Mass Spectrometry, taking advantage of her multidisciplinary experience to develop new projects at the interface of Chemistry, Biology and Analytical Sciences.

She focuses her research on the development of chemical probes for specific and sensitive detection of peptides and proteins, and pharmacological studies (GPCR/ligand interaction) by MALDI Mass Spectrometry.


+33 (0)4 11 75 96 07

+33 (0)4 67 14 38 09

Major publications :

  1. “Quantitative MALDI-MS Binding Assays: An Alternative to Radiolabeling”, Rossato, G. Miralles, C. M’Kadmi, D. Gagne, M. Amblard, B. Mouillac, J. Martinez, G. Subra, C. Enjalbal and S. Cantel, ChemMedChem, 11 (23), 2582-2587 (2016) IF= 2.98
  2. “Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme is the target of the nonapeptide Acein that induces dopamine release” Neasta, C. Valmalle, A.C. Coyne, E. Carnazzi, G. Subra, J.C. Galleyrand, D. Gagne, C. M’Kadmi, N. Bernad, G. Bergé, S. Cantel, J. Marie, J.L. Banères, M.L. Kemel, V. Daugé, K. Puget, J. Martinez, British Journal of Pharmacology, 173, 1314-1328 (2015) IF= 4.84
  3. “An innovative Strategy for sulfopeptides analysis using MALDI-TOF MS reflectron positive ion mode” CANTEL, L. BRUNEL, K. OHARA, C. ENJALBAL, J. MARTINEZ, J.J. VASSEUR, M. SMIETANA*, Proteomics, 12, , 2247-2257 (2012). IF = 4,82
  4. “A new generation of cross-linkers for selective detection by MALDI MS”, D. PARAMELLE, CANTEL, C. ENJALBAL, M. AMBLARD, E. FOREST, M. HEYMANN, C. GEOURJON, J. MARTINEZ, G. SUBRA, Proteomics, 9, 5384-5388 (2009). IF = 4,82
  5. “Synthesis and Conformational Analysis of a Cyclic Peptide Obtained via i to-i+4 Intramolecular Side Chain-to-Side Chain Azide-Alkyne 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition”, CANTEL, A. LE CHEVALIER-ISAAD, M. SCRIMA, J.J. LEVI, R.D. DIMARCHI, P. ROVERO, J.A. HALPERIN, A.M. D’URSI, A.M. PAPINI, M. CHOREV, J. Org. Chem. (Featured Article), 73, 5663-5674 (2008). IF = 3,96
  6. “Small Molecule Inhibition of the Interaction Between the Translation Initiation Factors eIF4E and eIF4G”, N.J. MOERKE, H. AKTAS, H. CHEN, CANTEL, M.Y. REIBARKH, J.D. GROSS, A. DEGTEREV, J. YUAN, M. CHOREV, J.A. HALPERIN, G. WAGNER, Cell, 128, 257-267 (2007). IF = 29,89
  7. “Solution and solid-supported synthesis of 3,4,5-trisubstituted 1,2,4-triazole-based peptidomimetics” D. BOEGLIN, CANTEL, A. HEITZ, J. MARTINEZ, J.A. FEHRENTZ, Org. Lett., 5, 23, 4465-4468 (2003).  IF = 5,25


Recent publication with the group

  1. “N-terminal LEAP2 region exhibits inverse agonist activity toward the ghrelin receptor“, M’Kadmi, A. Cabral, F. Barrile, J. Giribaldi, S. Cantel, M. Damian, S. Mary, S. Denoyelle, S. Dutertre, S. Péraldi-Roux, J. Neasta, C. Oiry, J.L. Banères, J. Marie, M. Perello and J.A. Fehrentz , J. Med. Chem. in press (2018) IF= 6.25
  2. Receptor-ligand interaction measured by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and selenium labeling“, Cheignon, E. Cordeau, Nolwenn Prache, S. Cantel, J. Martinez, G. Subra, C. Arnaudguilhem, B. Bouyssiere, C. Enjalbal, (2018) J.Med.Chem., 61, 10173-10184 (2018) IF= 6.25


Sébastien Estran

sébastien Estaran

Chemical engineer, CNRS

Sébastien ESTARAN graduated from a DESS in Structural Biology, obtained at the University of Montpellier in 2005. After a first experience as chemical analyst engineer in the pharmaceutical industry, he joined a team at the CBS, a structural laboratory in Montpellier, to work on a Fragment-Based Drug Design strategy to develop protein-protein interaction inhibitors. In 2017, he joined the IBMM as CNRS engineer specialized in molecular interactions studies.

Sébastien is currently working at the interface between chemistry and biology with skills in molecular modelling and protein biochemistry. Then using several biophysics technics, he characterizes protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions.


5 major publications :

« SAR predictions of benzoylphenylurea chitin synthesis inhibitors active on larvae of Aedes aegypti. » Devillers J., Doucet-Panaye A., Doucet J.-P., Lattes A., Matondo H., Lagneau C., Estaran S., Clémente M.-M., and Yébakima A.,2017. J. Devillers, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA.

« Predicting the toxicity of piperidines against female adults of Aedes aegypti, in Computational Design of Chemicals for the Control of Mosquitoes and their Diseases. » Devillers J., Doucet-Panaye A., Doucet J.-P., Lagneau C., Estaran S., and Yébakima A., 2017. J. Devillers, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA.

« Distinct amino acids in the C-linker domain of the Arabidopsis K+ channel KAT2 determine its subcellular localization and activity at the plasma membrane. » Nieves-Cordones M, Chavanieu A, Jeanguenin L, Alcon C, Szponarski W, Estaran S, Chérel I, Zimmermann S, Sentenac H, Gaillard I. Plant Physiol. 2014 Mar

« Fragment-based identification of a locus in the Sec7 domain of Arno for the design of protein-protein interaction inhibitors. » Rouhana J, Hoh F, Estaran S, Henriquet C, Boublik Y, Kerkour A, Trouillard R, Martinez J, Pugnière M, Padilla A, Chavanieu A. J Med Chem. 2013 Nov

« Kinetics of interaction between ADP-ribosylation factor-1 (Arf1) and the Sec7 domain of Arno guanine nucleotide exchange factor, modulation by allosteric factors, and the uncompetitive inhibitor brefeldin A. »

Rouhana J, Padilla A, Estaran S, Bakari S, Delbecq S, Boublik Y, Chopineau J, Pugnière M, Chavanieu A. » J Biol Chem. 2013 Feb


Danièle Noël

Director of Researc, INSERM

Danièle Noël is director of research at INSERM.

She heads the group “Biology of Mesenchymal stem cell and cartilage therapies” in the Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapies of Montpellier (IRMB). She has a recognized expertise on stem cell biology and cell therapy strategies for osteoarticular diseases, being partner of three European projects ADIPOA1, ADIPOA2 and REGENER-AR. The main objectives of her group are to develop innovative approaches of cartilage engineering based on the combination of MSC with novel scaffolds and to identify the molecular mechanisms regulating cartilage regeneration in MSC-based therapies. She has extensively published in this domain (91 original articles, 41 reviews and 3 book chapters, 3 patents).


+33 4 67 33 04 73

Ahmad Mehdi

Ahmad Mehdi


Professor, University of Montpellier

Ahmad Mehdi is professor at the University of Montpellier. His research group belong to the team “Molecular Chemistry and Solid-state Organization (CMOS)” of the Institute Charles Gerhardt (ICG). The research topics range from molecular to materials synthesis with a focus on developing the synthesis by bottom-up approach inorganic mesoporous materials, hybrid materials and nanomaterials, combining controlled texture, structure and functionalities. Since 1999, He has been involved in the development of hybrid organic-inorganic based silica materials by using inorganic polymerization (sol-gel process) with the objective of finding chemical routes allowing the control of texture and functionality in order to adapt to the properties to the targeted applications (separation, catalysis, biomaterials). He is co-authors of more than 150 papers in the domain of organic-inorganic hybrid materials.


+33 467143832

Pascal Dumy

Pascal Dumy

Pascal Dumy

Professor, ENSCM

Pascal Dumy was appointed director of the National School of Chemistry, Montpellier (ENSCM) in February 2012. After a PhD carried out at the University of Montpellier 1 in 1993, he began his career at the University of Lausanne with Professor Manfred Mutter at the Institute of Organic Chemistry. In 1998 he joined the University of Grenoble 1 as a full professor in chemical biology. His research interest at IBMM focus on the design, synthesis and the validation of integrated functional systems and interfaces endowed with tailor-made properties for therapeutic and/or diagnostic applications or as model study against certain pathologies. He is co-author of over 200 publications.


+33 411759602 



Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University OF MONTPELLIER

Yen Vo-Hoang was born in Montpellier, France, in 1975. She received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of René Descartes, Paris V in 2003. She moved to the Faculty of Pharmacy of Montpellier as assistant professor, working in the research group of Dr Thierry Durand from 2004 to 2013. Then she joined the research group of Dr Muriel Amblard. Her research interests focus on synthesis of pseudo-peptides to inhibit Arf1/Arno interaction.


+33 411 75 95 39

5 major publications :

Degardin, S. Wein, J.-F. Duckert, M. Maynadier, A. Guy, T. Durand, R. Escale, H. Vial, Y. Vo-Hoang; Development of the first oral bioprecursors of bis-alkylguanidine antimalarial drugs. ChemMedChem 2014, 9, 300.

Degardin, S. Wein, S. Gouni, C. Tran Van Ba, J.-F. Duckert, T. Durand, R. Escale, H. Vial, Y. Vo-Hoang; Evaluation of Bis-Alkylamidoxime O-Alkylsulfonates as Orally Available Antimalarials. ChemMedChem 2012, 7, 991.

Berger, S. Wein, J.-F. Duckert, M. Maynadier, S. El Fangour, R. Escale, T. Durand, H. Vial, Y. Vo-Hoang; Reverse-benzamidine antimalarial agents: Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2010, 20, 5815.

Ouattara, S. Wein, M. Calas, Y. Vo-Hoang, H. Vial, R. Escale; Synthesis and antimalarial activity of new 1,12-bis(N,N’-acetamidinyl)dodecane derivatives, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2007, 17, 593.

Y. Vo-Hoang, Micouin, C. Ronet, G. Gachelin, M. Bonin; Total enantioselective synthesis and in vivo biological evaluation of an immunoregulatory fluorescent BODIPY alpha-galactosylceramide. Chembiochem 2003, 4, 27.

Vincent Lisowski

Vincent Lisowski

Vincent Lisowski
Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University OF MONTPELLIER

Vincent Lisowski was born in Aunay/Odon (France) in 1974. He first received his PharmD degree in 1998 before he obtained his PhD in 2002 from the University of Basse-Normandie, under the supervision of Professor Sylvain Rault in the field of new thiophene-based chemotherapeutic agents. After a postdoctoral position at the pharmaceutical faculty of Caen, where he developed medicinal projects in the field of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, he joined the group of Professor Jean Martinez as an Assistant Professor at the University of Montpellier, in 2003. He was appointed Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy in 2012. His research interests are peptide & heterocyclic chemistry applied to projects in the fields of medicinal chemistry (enzyme inhibitors, drug delivery) and chemical biology (antibody drug conjugate)


5 major publications :

Masurier, Arama, D.P.; N; El Amri, C.; Lisowski, V. Physiological and synthetic inhibitors of tissue kallikreins: an overview. Med. Res. Rev., 2017, accepted.

Mathieu, L.; Bonnel, C.; Masurier, N.; Maillard, L. T.; Martinez, J.; Lisowski, V. Cross-Claisen Condensation of N-Fmoc-Amino Acids – A Short Route to Heterocyclic gamma-Amino Acids. European Journal of Organic Chemistry 2015, 2262-2270.

Denoyelle, S.; Tambutet, G.; Masurier, N.; Maillard, L. T.; Martinez, J.; Lisowski, V. Synthesis of Thieno[3,2-e][1,4]diazepin-2-ones: Application of an Uncatalysed Pictet-Spengler Reaction. European Journal of Organic Chemistry 2015, 7146-7153.

Legrand, B.; Mathieu, L.; Lebrun, A.; Andriamanarivo, S.; Lisowski, V.; Masurier, N.; Zirah, S.; Kang, Y. K.; Martinez, J.; Maillard, L. T. Thiazole-Based gamma-Building Blocks as Reverse-Turn Mimetic to Design a Gramicidin S Analogue: Conformational and Biological Evaluation. Chemistry-a European Journal 2014, 20, 6713-6720.

Malcor, J.-D.; Payrot, N.; David, M.; Faucon, A.; Abouzid, K.; Jacquot, G.; Floquet, N.; Debarbieux, F.; Rougon, G.; Martinez, J.; Khrestchatisky, M.; Vlieghe, P.; Lisowski, V. Chemical Optimization of New Ligands of the Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor as Potential Vectors for Central Nervous System Targeting. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2012, 55, 2227-2241.

Alain Chavanieu

Alain Chavanieu
Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University OF MONTPELLIER

Alain Chavanieu received his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Montpellier in 1992. After a post-doctoral period at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) in the group of Pr Barry Levine, he joined the Centre de Biochimie Structurale of Montpellier from 1985 to 2002 as post doctoral fellow then as associate professor. In 2011, he moved to the Institut des biomolecules Max Mousseron at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Montpellier, under the direction of Professor J. Martinez. His research interests focus on structure function of proteins and modulation of protein-protein interactions.


+33 411 75 95 27


5 major publications :

Fragment-based identification of a locus in the Sec7 domain of Arno for the design of protein-protein interaction inhibitors. Rouhana J, Hoh F, Estaran S, Henriquet C, Boublik Y, Kerkour A, Trouillard R, Martinez J, Pugnière M, Padilla A, Chavanieu A. J Med Chem. 2013 Nov 14;56(21):8497-511. doi: 10.1021/jm4009357. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Kinetics of interaction between ADP-ribosylation factor-1 (Arf1) and the Sec7 domain of Arno guanine nucleotide exchange factor, modulation by allosteric factors, and the uncompetitive inhibitor brefeldin A. Rouhana J, Padilla A, Estaran S, Bakari S, Delbecq S, Boublik Y, Chopineau J, Pugnière M, Chavanieu A. J Biol Chem. 2013 Feb 15;288(7):4659-72. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.391748. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Structure-based discovery of an inhibitor of Arf activation by Sec7 domains through targeting of protein-protein complexes. Viaud J, Zeghouf M, Barelli H, Zeeh JC, Padilla A, Guibert B, Chardin P, Royer CA, Cherfils J, Chavanieu A. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 19;104(25):10370-5. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

Change in membrane permeability induced by protegrin 1: implication of disulphide bridges for pore formation. Mangoni ME, Aumelas A, Charnet P, Roumestand C, Chiche L, Despaux E, Grassy G, Calas B, Chavanieu A. FEBS Lett. 1996 Mar 25;383(1-2):93-8.

Involvement of phosphoinositide 3-kinase in insulin- or IGF-1-induced membrane ruffling. Kotani K, Yonezawa K, Hara K, Ueda H, Kitamura Y, Sakaue H, Ando A, Chavanieu A, Calas B, Grigorescu F, et al. EMBO J. 1994 May 15;13(10):2313-21.

Jean Martinez

Jean Martinez

JEAN Martinez
Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University OF MONTPELLIER

Jean Martinez received both his PhD in 1972 from the University of Montpellier 2, at the National School of Chemistry and his Dr Sciences Degree in 1976 from the same University, under the supervision of Professor F. Winternitz. The same year, he joined Dr E. Bricas group at Orsay, University of Paris Sud, as a post-doctorate fellow and in 1977 the laboratory of Professor M. Bodanszky at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, where he stayed till mid 1979.

Jean Martinez is a Full Professor at the University of Montpellier. In 2007, he created the « Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron » (IBMM), which he has been the Director until December 2014. He is actually Head of the department of Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins at IBMM.

He served the University of Montpellier 1 as a Member of the Scientific Council for 8 years, and as Vice-President for 6 years (2009-2014).

Prof. Martinez is recognized for his important contributions, at the interface of chemistry and biology, to the development of methodology in organic and peptide synthesis, design and synthesis of various potent and selective neuropeptide analogues, and biomaterials containing biomolecules.

He has published over 900 original papers, 50 patents, numerous review articles, and he has been editor of several books. In 2012, he was accepted into the « Académie Nationale de Pharmacie », France, and in 2014 into the « Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia », Spain. In 2015, he has been nominated Docteur Honoris causa of the Jagellonian University of Kracow, Poland. He has received various prizes including the Leonidas Zervas Award (Barcelona, Spain 1990), the Silver Medal CNRS (Paris, France 1996), The Labbe Award (Paris, France 1996), The Mentzer Award (Caen, France 1998), the Max Bergmann Medal (Munster, Germany 2004), the Cathay Award (Shanghai, China 2006), the Akabori Award (Tokohama, Japan 2006), the Ehrlich Award (Lyon, France 2011), the Roche « Johannes Meinhofer Award » (Boulder Co, USA 2011), the Léon Velluz Award (Paris, France 2015), the Rudinger Award (Leipzig, Germany 2016). He is « Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques » (2010), and Chevalier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur (2011).

Jean Martinez served the European Peptide Society as French Representative, Member of the Executive Committee (1991-1998), Scientific Officer (1998-2001), and President (2001-2010).


5 major publications :

1) Turning peptide sequences into ribbon foldamers by a straightforward multicyclisation reaction“, V. Martin, B. Legrand, L. L. Vezenkov, M. Berthet, G. Subra, M. Calmes, J-L Bantignies, J. Martinez, & M. Amblard, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 54, 13966-13970 (2015). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201506955.

2) A new way to silicon-based peptide polymers, S. Jebors, J. Ciccione, S. Al Halifa, B. Nottelet, C. Enjalbal, C. M’Kadmi, M. Amblard, A. Mehdi, J. Martinez, & G. Subra, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 54, 3778-3782 (2015).

3) Dipeptide mimic oligomer transporter mediates intracellular delivery of cathepsin D inhibitors: a potential target for cancer therapy, M. Maynadier, L. Vezenkov, M. Amblard, V. Martin, C. Gandreuil, O. Vaillant, M. Gari-Bobo, I. Basile, J-F. Hernandez, M. Garcia, & J. Martinez, J. Controlled Release, 171, 251-257 (2013). DOI:10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.07.017.

4) Ligands and signalling proteins govern the conformational landscape explored by a G-protein-coupled receptor“,  S. Mary, M. Damian, M. Louet, N. Floquet, J-A Fehrentz, J. Marie, J. Martinez, & J-L Banères, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 8304-8309 (2012).

5) A straightforward approach for cellular-uptake quantification “, D. Paramelle, G. Subra, L. Vezenkov, M. Maynadier, C. André, C. Enjalbal, M. Calmes, M. Garcia, J. Martinez, & M. Amblard, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.., 12, 747-753 (2010).

Luc Brunel

Luc Brunel


Luc BRUNEL graduated from a DEA in heterocycle chemistry, polymers and catalysis obtained at the University of Montpellier in 1997. After several experiences in the private sector, since 2003 he has been working as a CNRS engineer in biomolecule development.

He works on both the SynBio3 platform providing biomolecules of biological interest and pharmaceuticals, as responsible for syntheses and purifications in large quantities, but also within the research team of the laboratory to carry out certain precursor projects.

Luc possesses very solid skills in the fields of peptide synthesis in solution and solid support as well as a 15-year expertise in the implementation and development of peptide purification on preparative HPLC.

Luc obtained the CNRS Crystal medal in 2015.


5 major publications :

In Vivo Stabilization of a Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Receptor Antagonist Enhances PET Imaging and Radionuclide Therapy of Prostate Cancer in Preclinical Studies. Chatalic KL, Konijnenberg M, Nonnekens J, de Blois E, Hoeben S, de Ridder C, Brunel L, Fehrentz JA, Martinez J, van Gent DC, Nock BA, Maina T, van Weerden WM, de Jong M. Theranostics. 2016 Jan 1;6(1):104-17. doi: 10.7150/thno.13580. eCollection 2016. 

Gastrin releasing peptide receptor-directed radioligands based on a bombesin antagonist: synthesis, (111)in-labeling, and preclinical profile. Marsouvanidis PJ, Nock BA, Hajjaj B, Fehrentz JA, Brunel L, M’Kadmi C, van der Graaf L, Krenning EP, Maina T, Martinez J, de Jong M. J Med Chem. 2013 Mar 28;56(6):2374-84. doi: 10.1021/jm301692p. Epub 2013 Mar 8.

An innovative strategy for sulfopeptides analysis using MALDI-TOF MS reflectron positive ion mode. Cantel S, Brunel L, Ohara K, Enjalbal C, Martinez J, Vasseur JJ, Smietana M. Proteomics. 2012 Aug;12(14):2247-57. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201100525.

The 1,2,4-triazole as a scaffold for the design of ghrelin receptor ligands: development of JMV 2959, a potent antagonist. Moulin A, Brunel L, Boeglin D, Demange L, Ryan J, M’Kadmi C, Denoyelle S, Martinez J, Fehrentz JA. Amino Acids. 2013 Feb;44(2):301-14. doi: 10.1007/s00726-012-1355-2. Epub 2012 Jul 14. Review.

Synthesis of peptide alcohols on the basis of an O-N acyl-transfer reaction. Tailhades J, Gidel MA, Grossi B, Lécaillon J, Brunel L, Subra G, Martinez J, Amblard M. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2010;49(1):117-20. doi: 10.1002/anie.200904276