Yves L. Janin is a research director of the CNRS, and after six years at the Institut Curie, a year-long sabbatical in Vitry Aventis research facilities, he has been working at the Institut Pasteur for the last 15 years. His main expertise lies in organic (heterocyclic) chemistry and his projects are focusing on the medicinal chemistry aspects resulting from the biological or biochemical screening campaigns undertaken at the Institut Pasteur. Accordingly, his research subjects have ranged from the generation of libraries of new chemical entities, the synthesis of potential tools for biological investigations, to full-fledged structure-activity relationship studies stemming from hits found in the course of these screening campaigns. Amongst recent successes is the identification of an original class of strong human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) which led to an international multidisciplinary research project. A current endeavour, which has resulted in one patent so far, is focusing on the design of enhanced bioluminescence-based reporting systems. This not only includes a (successful) structure-bioluminescence activity relationship study but also a structure-driven alteration of the luciferase binding pocket to better accommodate some of these original substrates.
In parallel, Yves Janin is routinely called by the Institut Pasteur patent office to expertise research results involving the biological activity of small molecules. Finally, he as a track record of more than 50 publications in organic or medicinal chemistry, an h index of 19 and is the author of 6 patents.
The Institut Pasteur is a private, non-profit foundation. Its mission is to help prevent and treat diseases, mainly those of infectious origin, through research, teaching, and public health initiatives. With 2500 employees organized in 142 research teams belonging to 11 departments and 4 research centres, its researchers contribute to the advancement of knowledge that leads to cutting-edge medical applications, ultimately improving public health by deciphering the fundamental mechanisms of living organisms.
Research at the Institut Pasteur is based on four key strengths:
- Research conducted at all levels of life, from molecules to individuals and populations.
- Multidisciplinary strategies, focusing on molecular and cellular approaches as well as bioinformatics, biophysics, chemistry and nanotechnologies.
- Unique technological facilities, including the most powerful microscope in the world (Titan).
- An international network of 33 institutes, the only one of its kind in the world, which is present on every continent.
Combining these resources is essential to responding to the major public health challenges of today, for example antibiotic resistance, the impact of microbiota (formerly called gut flora) on our health, promoting healthy aging, etc. Institut Pasteur is engaged on these fronts and its discoveries improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases (Ebola, malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis, Zika, etc.), neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc.), cancer (uterine, stomach...), autism, etc.
Concerning medicinal chemistry research on infectious diseases, through a series of calls (i.e. Global Care or Institut Carnot) the Institut Pasteur has for the last decade supported the identification of key biological processes and the design of screening for small molecules susceptible to alter these. Though the implementation of this strategy as well as well as its sister phenotypic approach have yet to provide a new antibiotic, quite a few (academic) successes of potential use toward such a goal have already been reported.
Yves Janin will provide his expertise in medicinal chemistry for any relevant project and will gladly get involved in the design and synthesis of analogues of compounds of biological interest identified in the course of screening campaigns. Moreover, accesses to the extensive facilities of the Institut Pasteur such as the biophysics or crystallization platforms as well as the modest (2000 compounds) Institut Pasteur chemical library will be helpful.