I have been working at the interface between molecular medicine (e.g., cancer, the complement system and blood coagulation), and structural bioinformatics and chemoinformatics for over 20 years in different countries (mainly USA, Finland, Sweden, France), in the private and academic sectors.
Presently I focus on challenging targets including protein-membrane interactions (e.g., coagulation factor V and factor VIII), protein-protein interactions (eg., VEGFR, the Bcl family, GRB14, SYK...ERK_caspase, AAC11...), prediction of some ADME-Tox properties and in silico drug design. The work involves in silico structural analysis, virtual screening, repositioning, trying to understand the health and disease states at the atomic level... To get new insights on the small molecules identified by screening I have for instance developed an unpublished database with 70 million endpoints and over 1300 targets (big data, smart data, data mining)... I have several projects on drug repositioning with the private sector.... Other screening projects are carried out on furin, the proteasome, ClC-k channels, PLA2.... Structural analysis of peptides, design of peptido-mimetics and in silico investigations of therapeutic mAbs to improve patent applications are also carried out with academic groups and the private sector. Structural analysis of point mutations identified in patients are ongoing...
I am research director at the Inserm Institute (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research is a public scientific and technological institute which operates under the joint authority of the French Ministry of Health and French Ministry of Research) and have been the director of the Inserm research unit U973 (2009-2018) which was located on the University Paris Diderot campus. I have been co-director of the doctoral school MTCI from 2012-2015.
2019-2020 I worked in one academic drug discovery center in Lille (Inserm U1177) and starting summer 2020, I will be working at Inserm UMR 1141 - NeuroDiderot - Robert-Debré Hospital - Paris
Over 200 publications and reviews, H-index 54 (Google scholar), 12 book chapters, 10 patents...
Some more info
Summary of discussions between Dr. B. Villoutreix and several journalists, in 2014, 2015 for the French Inserm Journal Science & Santé and for the movie Rêves de recherche, rêve de chercheur, end of 2010. The discussions were about my previous works (like around the years 2000-2005) and how these studies were contributing to molecular medicine, and how these relate to my present research projects.
Examples of contributions combining in silico and experimental approaches in the field of cancer and coagulation-complement at the beginning of my career and how these relate to my present research projects ?
- Around 1993: analysis of protein-protein interfaces in blood coagulation and the complement system and the inhibition of these interactions with antibodies and peptides (USA)
- Around 1993: the use of structural bioinformatics to study therapeutic targets, like the prostate specific antigen (PSA, first structural model) and the use of protein-protein docking to help the design of antibodies to measure PSA free and PSA in complex with serpin molecules (USA, Sweden, Finland). Then, many other proteins important for human health were investigated, like proteins involved in the anticoagulant protein C pathway. Modulation of protein-protein interactions with peptides
- Around 1994: the use of structural analysis to investigate point mutations identified in patients, essentially for thrombosis and bleeding disorders (USA)
- Around 1995: modulation of proteins with heparin
- Around 1995: the use of ligand docking tools to investigate mAbs-small molecule interactions while working in the private sector (Biotech in Finland)
- Around 1998: the first structural model of a discoidin domain (Sweden)
- Around 2003: stabilization of proteins via site directed mutagenesis designed after computational analysis, area of hemophilia, for a big pharma in the USA
- Around 2003: virtual screening and more specifically hierarchical virtual screening (France), applications in cancer, coagulation,...
- Around 2005-2006: computer design of low molecular weight compounds that mimic a protein-protein interaction and the design of a molecule that is now in clinical trial phase 1b (Sweden)
- Around 2006: tools to compute some ADMET properties (France)
- Around 2006: modulation of protein-membrane interactions (France)
My work is now on combining bioinformatics and chemoinformatics with experimental studies to design chemical probes, hit candidates and optimized compounds, the main therapeutic areas are coagulation-complement, cancer and/or involve working with novel molecular mechanisms independently of a disease area. The intention is to continue studying challenging targets, such as protein-protein interactions or protein-membrane interactions, or some other novel targets, searching for new ideas and solutions that could help patients, develop novel in silico approaches or novel protocols to assist the process... Studies are also ongoing to define protocols to study and drug missense variants.
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