Raphaël Rodriguez receives the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award
Raphaël Rodriguez, CNRS research director, joined Institut Curie in early 2015 to add a biological focus to his research. "As a chemist, I have a great deal to learn from biologists and physicians at Institut Curie," explains the head of the Chemistry and Biology of Cancer team (Institut Curie/CNRS/Inserm/PSL). "I hope that I will also be able to make our contribution to the overall structure." Also in 2015, he received funding from Europe in the form of an ERC Consolidator grant, allowing him to pursue his research on small molecules that target lyosomal iron and regulation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition by iron in the chromatin.
In May 2014, Raphaël Rodriguez' team, at the time at the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles of the CNRS, synthesized a small molecule - remodelin - that can correct the faults in the chromatin structure observed in cellular ageing by targeting acetyl-transferase NAT10.
Today, he and his team are developing various techniques - such as imaging of small molecules, high-throughput sequencing and proteomics - to explore the action mechanisms of these small molecules on tumor stem cells; this work earned him the title "Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry" in 2018.
Raphaël Rodriguez successfully combines basic knowledge with progress in biomedical research, and as he reminds us: “This focus on translational research is only possible in institutions such as Institut Curie that combine a Research Center with a Hospital Group.”
It was these achievements that led the editors of the historic chemistry journal Tetrahedron, from Elsevier, to award Raphaël Rodriguez the eponymous award in the Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry category.