Université de Lorraine (UL)

Professor of Enzymology, Head of the enzymology team (team 3, IMoPA)

Molecular and Structural Enzymology Group, UMR 7365 CNRS-UL : IMoPA, Université de Lorraine, Faculté de médecine, Batiment Biopôle, 9 avenue de la Forêt de Haye, CS 50184, 54506 Vandœuvre-Les-Nancy CEDEX - FRANCE

+33 3 72 74 66 63



Background and expertise of the representative

Kira J. Weissman(>80 publications, h-index: 29 (WoS)/35 (Google Scholar); ORCID 0002-3012-2960) holds a BS from Stanford University, California, and MPhil and PhD degrees in chemistry from the University of Cambridge, UK, where she was a Churchill Scholar and an HHMI pre-doctoral fellow. Following receipt of several post-doctoral awards including a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, she took up her current position as Professor of Enzymology (PR1) at Lorraine University, Nancy, France in 2010. Her primary research interests lie in the molecular enzymology, structural biology and genetic engineering of natural product biosynthesis, with a particular focus on polyketides, nonribosomal peptides and their hybrids. Prof. Weissman is also co-head of the Biomolecules IMPACT project of the UL, which includes 16 academic laboratories, as well as local, national and international members of industry, with the aim of translating fundamental research on natural products into application. She is in addition on the editorial board of several journals as well as a Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) book series in Chemical Biology, regularly reviews for >25 journals, has guest-edited two special issues, is an elected member of the Chemistry/Biology Interface Division (CBID) Council of the RSC, and is routinely called upon to act as a grant/promotion reviewer.

Organisation profile

The molecular and structural enzymology group (team 3, IMoPA) which Prof. Weissman heads is located within the recently (2011) inaugurated « Biopôle » within the Faculty of Medicine, UL. This state-of-the-art facility houses six research groups and six scientific platforms. Team 3 boasts strong expertise in multiple areas of natural products research, including molecular biology/genetic engineering, microbiology (E. coli, Streptomyces, yeast), protein production and purification, in vitro enzymology, structural biology (NMR, X-ray crystallography & SAXS) and biophysical analysis (CD, ITC, SPR, DLS, etc.). All materials necessary for these approaches are present in Partner 3’s laboratory, including a 600 MHz NMR instrument equipped with a cryoprobe, a nanoliter-drop Mosquito robot (TPP LabTech), a Freedom Evo Tecan robot and an in-house rotating anode Bruker X8-Proteum. Analysis of small molecules is carried out in collaboration with C. Paris (ENSAIA, UL) on a ThermoFisher Dionex Ultimate 3000-LTQ UHPLC-MS.

Contribution to the network

Kira J. Weissman is expert in multiple aspects of the biosynthesis of polyketides and related secondary metabolites, notably including the structural biology of the responsible megasynthase enzymes, stereochemical control, and protein-protein interactions. Her expertise is complemented by that of her team in structural biology (NMR, X-ray crystallography and SAXS) and molecular microbiology/synthetic biology. Thus, together, the team is able to carry out both fundamental studies of polyketide biosynthesis, but in addition, translate these results into practical engineering strategies towards the generation of novel analogues. Their work is supported by a large network of national and international collaborations.

Overview of current research