We are an interdisciplinary research group in chemical biology and as such require access to a wide range of equipments and support facilities spanning several 'traditional' disciplines. The following section details the equipment we have access to and what's possible in our lab.
Hosting at CYU / BioCIS
Our research group is located at CY Cergy Paris University on the science campus of Neuville-sur-Oise, 35 min. West of Paris by train. We are part of the larger BioCIS mixed research unit (UMR 8076: Biomolecules: Design, Isolation, Synthesis) which focusses on synthesis of biologically relevant molecules, natural product chemistry, medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Our research group is affiliated to the Department of Chemistry at CY Cergy Paris Université, the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Paris-Saclay (France's largest research university), and the Institute of Chemistry of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).
BioCIS members have access to state-of-the-art facilities for synthetic organic chemistry. This includes synthetic equipment such as synthetic fumehoods, evaporators, Schlenk lines, microwave reactor, automated synthetisers, photoreactors, electrochemistry kits, hydrogenation station, lyophilizer, glovebox, as well as purification equipment including MPLC flash chromatography (x2), analytical HPLC, semi-preparative HPLC, preparative HPLC equipped with UV and ELSD detectors and chiral HPLC columns. All required analytical equipment and services are available for compound characterization at BioCIS including NMR spectrometers (200-400 MHz), mass spectrometry (GC-MS, LC-MS, HPLC-MS, high resolution MS, MS/MS), infrared spectrometry, UV-VIS spectrometers, polarimeters, melting point instruments, coulometers, atomic adsorption spectrometers and an elemental analysis service.
BioCIS has access to state-of-the-art facilities for in-solution peptide chemistry as well as access to the PeptLab platform for solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS). This platform is fully equipped for milligram and gram-scale peptide synthesis (SPPS), including all equipment necessary for purification (preparative HPLC, semi-preparative HPLC, lyophiliser) and analytics (LC-MS). The PeptLab platform equally possesses a kilo-lab for peptide synthesis in a clean environment. The platform head (Elisa Peroni) and research engineer (Olivier Monasson) provide expert advice in peptide synthesis. Furthermore, BioCIS-CY hosts several research groups with expertise in the synthesis of unnatural amino acids, particularly of fluorinated amino acids, and the coupling reactions necessary to incorporate these (sometimes challenging) building blocks.
Biochemistry & protein chemistry
The 40 m2 protein chemistry laboratory possesses all required equipment for recombinant protein expression in E. Coli (registered L1-1102). We have access to 2 small autoclaves and 1 large autoclave in the service rooms of the Biology Teaching Labs (SPEX) for sterile media preparation and sterila consumables. Our lab is well-equipped for molecular biology and protein purification, including thermal cyclers for PCR, thermoshakers, bacterial incubators, sonicator, centrifuges, electrophoresis, an AKTA Start FPLC purification system with SEC, SCX and affinity chromatography columns, -20 and -80 freezers.
One of the specificities of our lab is the implementation of post-translational chemical mutagenesis, an intact protein modification chemistry consisting of a series of bioorthogonal reactions. Some reactions require anaerobic conditions (6ppm), which we perform in an acryl glovebox (see picture). We have also built in-house a biocompatible photoreactor for photoredox reactions on proteins.
BioCIS-Cergy possesses a Tecan plate reader for enzymatic assays (ELISA), a spectrofluorometer with plate reader, an ITC for protein-ligand interaction and a Q-TOF tandem mass spectrometer for intact protein LC-MS.
As described, we have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities for chemical biology.
The BioCIS compound library is part of the 'Chimiothèque Nationale', the French National Compound Collection. Compound collections in plates are available at request (standardised subsets or cherry-picked) from ChemBioFrance or from the BioCIS lab collection. BioCIS is a founding member of the CIBLOT high-throughput screening (HTS) platform where assays amenable to HTS using absorbance, luminescence and fluorescence can be implemented (colorimetric, alphascreen, FRET/BRET).
Computational chemistry ressources (including molecular dynamics, docking etc.) can be accessed at the local computing center (CDC), which is well-maintained and has installed all necessary software packages for CPU and GPU computing. While the local computing is entirely sufficient for our needs, we qualify for the free access to the French National HPC infrastructure GENCI (Accès préparatoire).
2D mammalian cell culture is carried out in a BSL-2 biosaftety lab at Neuville sur Oise. We have access to a dedicated BSL-2 lab module of the Cosmetomics platform under a pay-for-access scheme. The lab is fully equipped for mammalian cell culture laboratories (including laminar flow hoods, incubators, centrifuges, autoclave etc.) and is conveniently located in the same building complex as BioCIS. The platform manager as well as a PhD-level research engineer provide technical support. BioCIS also shares a cell culture platform in Saclay with the Institut Gallien, with a full-time research engineer position providing support.
Due to our interdisciplinary research, we have a broad need in different mass spectrometry techniques. We have direct access to the following instrumentation:
- GC-MS of the Departement of Chemistry (AGILENT HP6890/5973N)
- UPLC-MS of PeptLab (Waters 3100)
- UPLC-MS/MS Q-ToF (Waters) of BioCIS
- Pasteur Proteomics Facility