The research unit 152 IRD/UPS was created in 2003 under the name “Pharmacochemistry of natural substances and redox pharmacophores”. This unit was headed for two quadrennial contracts (2003-2011) by Professor Françoise Nepveu, with the help of Dominique Laurent (CR IRD) as Deputy Director. During these 8 years, the work was mainly oriented towards tropical diseases (malaria, leishmaniasis, ciguatera) and the valorization of biodiversity as a source of new active molecules. The specificity of the laboratory lays in the study of oxidative stress, a condition common to many pathologies, for the discovery of new pharmacophores through technological and molecular tools. Until 2011, the UMR152 was divided into two research axes:

  • Axis 1: Redox mechanisms and oxidative stress
  • Axis 2: Biodiversity and bioactive natural substances

The unit was then composed of 21 permanent staff, including 15 academics, 7 IRD researchers and 6 engineering, technical and administrative staff. When the unit was renewed in 2011, the unit wanted to broaden its main themes by integrating two new teams, one specialized in the field of cancer, the other focused on innate immunity and macrophage. The new “cancer expertise” allowed the development of new models for screening natural and synthetic molecules. The study of macrophage signaling pathways in the innate response to parasitosis and cancer aimed at identifying molecular targets (nuclear receptors), potential targets of the molecules for the chemist teams. In order to carry out this new unit project, 4 teams with 32 permanent staff were formed:

  • Team 1: pharmacognosy, ethnopharmacology and pathologies from the South (PEPS)
  • team 2: redox mechanisms and oxidative stress (REDSTRESS)
  • Team 3: chemistry-biology interface for development (BIOCID)
  • team 4: macrophages and nuclear receptors in inflammation and infection (MRN2i)

This project was led by Nicolas Fabre, Professor of Pharmacognosy at the Faculty of Pharmacy, and Agnès Aubouy (IRD), Deputy Director, for two five-year periods (2011-2015 and 2016-2020).
The next unit project will begin in january 2021. This project will be led by Valérie Jullian (IRD) and Karine Reybier (UPS) as Deputy Director.