IRP MAITAI

IRP MAITAI

French-Australian International Research Project in Chemistry

IRP MAITAI
2021
Contact:

Frederic Paul,
frederic.paul(at)univ-rennes1.fr

IRP MAITAI
News

Introduction

The IRP “MAITAI” focusing on Multiphoton Absorbers in Therapy and Imaging is a joint CNRS-ANU initiative in chemistry built on a strong collaborative French-Australian consortium involving synthetic molecular chemists, physical chemists, and biochemists. It primarily focuses on molecular photonics, but also on molecular electronics as a means to impart specific photonic properties to discrete molecular (sub)nano-sized architectures. It involves 23 Australian and French researchers mainly located at the Institute of Chemical Sciences of Rennes (ISCR), a joint CNRS-University of Rennes 1 unit (UMR CNRS6226), and at the Australian National University, and constitutes the continuation of the CNRS International Associated Laboratory (LIA) Redochrom.

Missions and research themes

Multiphoton absorption (MPA) is the simultaneous absorption of two or more photons by a molecule or material. This phenomenon can be important as a means to effect optical limiting, which can be employed for the protection of sensitive optical devices including eyes.  In addition to the protection of optical devices, the simultaneous absorption of two or more photons (upconversion) can afford other useful outcomes that are a consequence of photophysical processes subsequent to the initial MPA photo-excitation. Radiative decay to the ground-state can release a photon of much greater energy than the initial excitation (multi-photon-excited fluorescence). Relaxation to the ground-state via triplet states (for which subsequent decay is slower) leads to multi-photon-excited phosphorescence. Energy transfer from the excited singlet or (more usually) triplet states to triplet oxygen can afford cytotoxic singlet oxygen (multi-photon photodynamic therapy). Because the initial MPA excitation occurs only where the light intensity is sufficiently intense, the resultant photophysical processes can be realised with exquisite control over interaction volume, resulting in exceptional localization. As a result, MPA has been shown to have potential use in 3D data storage, and photo-initiated polymerization and microfabrication, as well as the aforementioned singlet oxygen photosensitization. These light intensity-dependent highly-localized MPA effects occurring at the focal point of a laser beam can be used in medical imaging and targeted photodynamic therapy, and these are the primary concerns of the new CNRS IRP MAITAI.

MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT

Although particular organic molecules can exhibit moderate-to-large MPA cross-sections, high quantum yields, and/or biocompatibility, their overall performance is often insufficient. Thus, their MPA merit is poor or non-existent at longer wavelengths (particularly the NIR-II region), and they do not usually possess the flexible functionality needed to permit targeting or remote triggering. Some members of the new MAITAI team have demonstrated that certain organometallics can possess exceptional (world-record) values of MPA cross-sections at the key longer wavelengths for biological applications and have shown that the MPA performance can be switched by a range of orthogonal stimuli including some not available to organics. For these reasons, organometallics are a major focus of this IRP. Other members of the MAITAI team have demonstrated expertise in addressing the other key requirements: effecting high luminescence quantum yields, favouring production of singlet oxygen whenever required, engineering biocompatibility, designing and synthesizing therapeutic and theranostic molecules, and incorporating and controlling functionality that can serve as molecular triggers. The CNRS IRP MAITAI will exploit the unique collective expertise of the Australian-French consortium to drive the development of exceptionally efficient multi-photon absorbers from concept through to their applications in therapy and imaging.

institutions and laboratories involved

France

  • Frederic Paul (DR CNRS, PI), UMR CNRS 6226 (ISCR-COrInt Team)

The consortium of French researchers at Institut des Sciences Chimiques de Rennes (ISCR) led by F. Paul belongs to different groups and teams at ISCR. Besides the strong organic or organometallic chemical synthesis component which is shared by most French participants of ISCR (metal-alkynyl complexes; porphyrins; isocyanurates; organic chromophores and fluorophores), some team members bring more specific expertise in various physico-chemical fields (silicon surface functionalization and electrochemistry, mixed-valent compounds, second-order and third-order NLO studies). The latter are complemented by ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopic facilities at the Institute of Physics of Rennes (M. Lorenc, IPR). There is also a strong computational component present among the French delegates (led by J.-F. Halet and A. Boucekkine at ISCR), complemented by a specialist in excited-state calculations in Toulouse (I. Dixon, LCPQ – Univ. Paul Sabatier). On the more bio-oriented front, the French team has been complemented by a group specializing in targeted vectorization and the controlled release of various (hydrophobic) bio-active species using customized polymer nanoparticles (S. Cammas-Marion), a group experienced in theranostics (G. Lemercier, ICMR – Univ. Reims Champagne-Ardennes), and a group (M. Gary-Bobo, IBMM – Univ. Montpellier) equipped for bioimaging, allowing access to a broad range of spectrometers for fluorescence imaging specially equipped for in vivo and in vitro studies and with access to various types of cell lines and living samples. A related facility at Rennes-Villejean may also be used for similar purposes (BIOSIT).

Australia

  • Mark G. Humphrey (Prof, PI), Research School of Chemistry,  ANU (Canberra)

The team of M. G. Humphrey, M. P. Cifuentes, M. S. Kodikara, and M. Morshedi at ANU in Canberra has long-standing experience in organometallic, organic, coordination complex and polymer synthesis, a wide range of spectroscopic,  electrochemical and variable temperature UV-vis-NIR-IR spectroelectrochemical techniques, computational studies (DFT/TD-DFT using Gadi, the fastest supercomputer in the southern hemisphere), electron microscopy, and X-ray structural studies. The group also has expertise and equipment to study nonlinear optical properties of molecules (a ns laser for hyper-Rayleigh scattering measurements of quadratic nonlinearities; a tunable fs laser for Z-scan measurements of cubic nonlinearities; and a tunable ns laser for optical limiting studies, all housed in a purpose-built temperature, humidity, and dust-controlled clean room). N. Cox manages Australia’s premier electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) facility, which operates at the X-band, Q-band, and W-band frequencies in either continuous wave or pulse configuration, and allows in situ light excitation (UV/vis/NIR), electrochemistry, stop-flow/quench flow kinetics and gas exchange measurements along with transient EPR, for characterizing short-lived photo-generated states, complemented by unique magneto-optical facilities. L. R. Malins has a fully-equipped synthetic chemistry laboratory and the necessary resources for synthetic organic chemistry as well as peptide and protein synthesis.

Laser suite for the study of nonlinear optical properties of molecules (Australian National University).

P. J. Low at UWA in Perth has leading expertise in the design, synthesis and study of organic and organometallic compounds exhibiting NIR absorption processes arising from intramolecular electron-transfer processes, and molecular electronics. G. A. Koutsantonis has extensive experience in mixed valence chemistry (organic and organometallic examples), carbon-rich and all carbon ligands on late transition metal fragments, the physical and surfactant properties of metallosurfactants, and molecular electronics including switching of conductance, molecular rectification, and metal complexes in molecular electronics. In addition to synthetic chemistry facilities, their groups have a world-class spectroelectrochemical suite for studying redox-switchable absorption processes and one of the few experimental facilities in the world for the characterisation of electron-transfer processes between molecules and surfaces at the single molecule level.

SPM platform for electrochemical AFM/STM experiments (University of Western Australia).

Single molecule electronic studies and spectroelectrochemical facility (University of Western Australia).

L. M. Rendina at the University of Sydney has extensive expertise in the synthesis and application of boron agents and lanthanoid metal complexes as cancer therapeutics and theranostics, respectively. His group has reported first-in-class, tumour-selective theranostics based on Gd3+ for human glioma. More recently, his group has studied the delivery of radiometals to tumour sites by means of unique ligand structures, and has developed cellular optical probes that exploit the unique luminescence of certain lanthanoid metal ions (e.g. Eu3+ and Tb3+) possessing information-rich emission profiles and long luminescence times.

 

M. Massi at Curtin University in Perth focuses on photoactive transition metal and lanthaoid complexes as models for fundamental photophysical studies (e.g. unravelling the intricate mechanisms of lanthanoid sensitisation), as well as having applications in the life sciences. His group developed transition metal complexes with specific interactions for polar lipids that are effective in revealing cancer phenotypes, and mitochondria-targeting complexes for staining preserved tissue, bypassing the need for laborious and expensive antibody staining.

International Exchanges

The Australian border closure in 2020 in response to the pandemic has prevented all trans-national exchanges since the creation of the MAITAI IRP. Exchanges will resume as soon as borders reopen.

Participants of the Molecular Electronics and Photonics Meeting (MEP 2018), July 10-13, 2018, UR1)

Signing of the first French-Australian SCF-RACI kindred agreement (2018-2022) by the Presidents of SCF (G. Chambaud, left) and RACI (P. Junk, right).

G. A. Koutsantonis at the French-Australian Scientific Day (FASD 2019), April 2019, UR1 (left)

Docteur Honoris Causa nomination of M. G. Humphrey by UR1 (F. Paul left, F. Mongin Right).

Participants of French-Australian MC2R meeting (MCR2 2018), ANU, November 20, 2018.

Program of first French-Australian School on Molecular Electronics and Molecular Photonics (MEMP 2019), ANU, July 4-8, 2019.

IRP FEMIDAL

IRP FEMIDAL

French-Australian International Research Project in Humanities and Social Sciences

IRP FEMIDAL
2021-2025
Project Coordinator:
Patrick CAUDAL

IRP FEMIDAL
Website

Photo caption

Introduction

Intro

Missions and research themes

Mission and research themes

MAIN PROJECT OF RESEARCH THEMES

  • Main projects

institutions and laboratories involved

France

  • France

Australia

  • Australia

some key publications

Key publications

Photo caption

IEA Green Voyage

IEA Green Voyage

French-Singaporean International Emerging Action in Biology

IEA Green Voyage
2021 – 2022

Contact:
Dr. Gwenael Piganeau: gwenael.piganeau(AT)obs-banyuls.fr;
Adriana Lopes dos Santos (Asst Prof): adriana.lopes(AT)ntu.edu.sg

IEA Green Voyage
News

Introduction

The objective of the IEA “Green Voyage: Genome evolution in the green lineage” coordinated by Dr. Gwenael Piganeau (CNRS,  Biologie intégrative des organismes marins UMR7232) in collaboration with Assistant Professor Adriana Lopes (Asian School of Environment, Nanyang Technological University) is to  improve  the  understanding  of  the  evolution  of genome architectures, gene content, and metabolic capacities across unicellular green algae. The IEA “Green Voyage” is built on the genomic data to be generated through the CSP – JGI project New Green Genes (https://jgi.doe.gov/csp-2021-new-green-genes/), coordinated by Singapore partner. Through this collaboration, we aim to provide ground breaking insights into the genetics and biology of important but yet under-explored photosynthetic eukaryotic groups.

Missions and research themes

Genomics research on unicellular green algae (Chlorophyta) is far from having reached its full potential and there is currently a significant bias in sequenced representatives that hampers our understanding of their diversity as well as their role in the environment.  Despite thousands of described species (6878 catalogued in AlgaeBase) from 13 different lineages, only 89 Chlorophyta nuclear genomes are available in GenBank.  Of these, more than 80% are restricted to two groups of organisms that either serve as model systems (e.g. Chlamydomonas  reinhardtii) or are considered of economic importance (e.g. Chlorella and Nannochloris). We propose to fill the gap in the Chlorophyta tree by selecting genomes from under-represented unicellular green lineages

MAIN projects of research

Genome sequences are the written records of billions of years of evolutionary experiments. Each individual from a given species represents a distinct natural experiment with several possibilities and genetic solutions, from secondary metabolites or proteins to genetic elements controlling hundreds of genes and cellular processes. The organism targets in our project are from marine (pelagic, bathypelagic and benthic), freshwater, terrestrial and sea ice environments. Our key objective is to improve our understanding of the evolution of genome architectures, gene sequences, and metabolic capacities across the Chlorophyta.  The proposed organisms are also of interest for the manufacturing of biofuels, bioplastics and other bioproducts as well as for the environmental engineering of diverse microbiomes.

institutions and laboratories involved

France

  • Dr. Gwenaël Piganeau and Frédéric Sanchez, CNRS – Environmental and Evolutionary Genomics of Phytoplankton Group – BIOM UMR7232- Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls sur mer.
  • Dr. Ian Probert and Priscila Gourvril – Roscoff Culture Collection, Station Biologique de Roscoff (http://roscoff-culture-collection.org/)

Singapore

  • Asst Prof Adriana Lopes dos Santos – Genomics and Evolution of Eukaryotes Lab – Asian School of Environment, NTU.

IEA MARGEN

IEA MARGEN

French-Australian International Emerging Action in Biology

IEA MARGEN
2021 – 2022
Contact:

Stefano TIOZZO
stefano.tiozzo(at)obs-vlfr.fr

Credit Alexandre Jan

Introduction

Most living animals reproduce sexually, a strategy that is regarded as evolutionary advantageous by allowing rapid adaptation to constantly changing environments. However, other reproductive modes co-exist and nearly half of animal phyla contain species that can propagate asexually via agametic reproduction. Many agametic propagating animals form colonies where individuals are connected to each other or develop clusters of genetically identical modules. Colonial growth and modular organization has important physiological and ecological consequences.

Despite widespread occurrence and impact on the dynamic of marine ecosystems and man-made environments, surprisingly very little is known on how asexual propagation and coloniality have evolved and how their mechanisms are regulated at a genetic and molecular level. MARGEN aims to use an entire family of marine invertebrates as a model for macroevolution experimental studies, specifically to track and study the transitions to (and from) coloniality.

Missions and research themes

In MARGEN, using ascidians for a particular relevant case study, we propose to combine field and experimental ecology, comparative genomics and developmental biology to understand the mechanisms leading to agametic development and coloniality, to infer their evolutionary trajectories and to examine processes that might allow colonial ascidians to successfully spread around diverse natural and artificial ecosystems and habitats.

The first task of MARGEN entails a phylogenomic reconstruction of the relationships between colonial and non-colonial ascidians belonging to the representative family of Styelidae. We will also provide the description of several anatomical characters putatively correlated to coloniality in order to map their evolution on the obtained phylogeny.

With the aim of detecting genomic signatures of agametic development and coloniality, in the second task we will sequence, analyze and compare four styelids genomes,  two  colonial  that  acquired  coloniality  convergently  and  two non-colonial.

institutions and laboratories involved

France

  • Stefano Tiozzo, CNRS/DR2 , Regeneration Team, Sorbonne University, CNRS, Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement de Villefranche-sur-mer (LBDV) – UMR7009

Australia

  • Prof. Sandie Degnan, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Credit Alexandre Jan

Credit Alexandre Jan

IRN FALCoL

IRN FALCoL

French-Australian Research Network on the study of the Continental Lithosphere

IRN FALCoL
2020-2025
Prof. Olivier VANDERHAEGHE
Olivier.VANDERHAEGHE(at)Get.omp.eu

IRN FALCoL
News & Activities

Introduction

Reasonable and durable exploitation or mineral and energetic resources is one of the main challenge for the future of humanity and of the Earth. Addressing these scientific and society issues requires a global knowledge and understanding of element transfers through geological processes such as magmatism and hydrothermalism at depth and weathering, erosion and sedimentation at the surface. Reaching this goal necessitates a multidisciplinary approach integrating scales from the lithosphere to the mineral. We also believe that in order to make progress on issues related to exploitation of natural resources and their impact on the Environment, at the crossroads between fundamental and applied research, implies the development of a network at the interface between Academia and Industry with researchers having diverse and complementary motivations and expertise.

Missions and research themes

The first aim of FALCoL is to formalize and strengthen a more than ten year long collaborative effort joining Australian and French academic and industrial partners on research projects targeting different stages of the evolution of the lithosphere and of the continental crust from the Archean to the Phanerozoic in order to evaluate the impact of geological processes from the deep Earth to the critical zone (geosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere interface). FALCoL has also the ambition to expand ongoing collaborations between participants to a growing team of partners by structuring a network to stimulate discussions and open new routes for future research on the following topics:

See photo below : Peridotite boudin in greenstones

See photos below : Migmatitic TTG San Pedro, Ivory Coast ; Tonalitic gneiss, San Pedro, Ivory Coast

See photo below : Sulfurs in leucosome

See photos below : Granitic chaos, Rehoboth Namibie ; Gneiss – Laterite transition San Pedro Ivory Coast

NETWORK ACTIVITIES AND EXPECTED RESULTS

FALCoL is complementary to (i) the LithoSud GDRI (IRD), which corresponds to a North-South network of scientists and dedicated to the formation of the continental lithosphere of the southern hemisphere, (ii) the Labex Ressources 21 held by Université de Lorraine and embracing mineral systems and environmental impacts of mining activities, (iii) the WAXI and SAXI projects funded by a consortium of mining companies with the goal to build a synthesis of geological and geophysical data at the scale of the West African and Guiana cratons, respectively.

The strategy of FALCoL is to offer a space for discussion, valorize existing datasets, support mobility of researchers and students and organize a yearly workshop involving the different partners of FALCoL enlarged to other internationally recognized researchers. During these workshops, the different stages and scales of transfers across the different Earth reservoirs will be treated. Each workshop will be devoted to specific scientific questions and will be fed by reports on different case studies. These discussions will allow to define the state of the art but also to identify debated issues and lead to the elaboration of new projects involving all the facets of mass transfer associated with Earth dynamics.

institutions and laboratories involved

France

UMR 5563 Géosciences Environnement Toulouse (GET) (CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse 3, IRD).
UMR 7359 GeoRessources (CNRS, Université de Lorraine)

Australia
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET) (University of Western Australia, Perth)
Mineral Resources, Kensington WA (CSIRO)

    Greenstone – migmatitic TTG transition 

    Peridotite boudin in greenstones

    Migmatitic TTG San Pedro, Ivory Coast

    Tonalitic gneiss, San Pedro, Ivory Coast

    Sulfurs in leucosome

    Granitic chaos, Rehoboth Namibie

    Gneiss – Laterite transition San Pedro Ivory Coast

    Swimming Pool in the desert Namibia

    Meet the FALCoL TEAM

    Olivier VANDERHAEGHE

    Olivier VANDERHAEGHE

    GET

    Muriel GERBAULT

    Muriel GERBAULT

    GET

    Jérôme GANNE

    Jérôme GANNE

    GET

    Marieke Van Lichtervelde

    Marieke Van Lichtervelde

    GET

    Stefano SALVI

    Stefano SALVI

    GET

    Lenka BARATOUX

    Lenka BARATOUX

    GET

    Luc SIEBENALLER

    Luc SIEBENALLER

    GET

    Stéphanie DUCHENE

    Stéphanie DUCHENE

    GET

    David BARATOUX

    David BARATOUX

    GET

    Gleb POKROVSKI

    Gleb POKROVSKI

    GET

    Michel GREGOIRE

    Michel GREGOIRE

    GET

    Oscar LAURENT

    Oscar LAURENT

    GET

    Nicolas THEBAUD

    Nicolas THEBAUD

    CET

    Mark Jessell

    Mark Jessell

    CET

    Anne-Sylvie ANDRÉ-MAYER

    Anne-Sylvie ANDRÉ-MAYER

    GeoRessources

    Aurélien EGLINGER

    Aurélien EGLINGER

    GeoRessources

    Vasek METELKA

    Vasek METELKA

    CSIRO