Post-doctoral researcher at UCSF, with a background in chemistry, working on 13C labeling and hyperpolarization of biocompatible agents for MRI with applications from enzymatic activity to animal models, my current research, in Chaumeil Lab, focuses on the evaluation of strategies to attenuate primary CNS lymphoma growth by testing promising agents with or without established therapies.
I completed my PhD degree in 2015 at the Paris Saclay University, after three internships in organic and medicinal chemistry in two private companies (GSK, Sanofi) and one public institution (CEA). In the course of my trainings, I worked on the synthesis of anti-cancer and anti-diabetic therapeutic molecules and discovered my passion for Research in life sciences.
During my PhD, my research focused on the enantiospecific C(sp3)-H activation followed by the deuterium incorporation onto stereogenic centers of small molecules. Using ruthenium nanoparticles, I applied this powerful and general method on 25 important chemical and biological compounds such as amines, aminoacids and small peptides. The mechanism of this fully stereoretentive process was investigated by a set of chemical experiments and DFT calculations which led to infer the reaction implied an unprecedented mechanism involving multiple ruthenium atoms and a σ-complex-assisted metathesis.
After these diverse experiences, I decided to join Dr. Wilson's lab at UCSF: in hyperpolarized 13C MRI, one of the fundamental limitations is the effective lifetime of the signal, called T1. I developed a robust late stage deuteration methodology, which is broadly applicable to amino, and α-hydroxyl acids, like alanine and lactate. Incorporation of deuterium in these substrates led to a significant T1 prolongation, ranging from 16-29% at a position adjacent to the 13C nucleus. Moreover, when applied to directly attached 13C nuclei, this led to a greater than 4 fold increase in T1. Most importantly, when applied to in vivo imaging, [1-13C,2-2H]alanine demonstrated a greater than doubling of effective signal to noise ratio. I was also working with Dr. Flavell's lab on molecular strategies to image the acidic tumoral microenvironment. For example, [2-13C,D10]diethylmalonic acid is a strong potential candidate for high spatial resolution in vivo pH mapping. Instead of using a ratiometric method, it uses differences in chemical shifts and allows for the detection of multiple pH compartments within the same voxel in mice kidneys imaging experiments.