Reims Institute of Molecular Chemistry (UMR CNRS 7312)

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Our Identity : Molecular Chemistry

The research work done at the Institute of Molecular Chemistry encompasses various basic aspects of molecular chemistry: synthetic methodology, reactivity and molecular engineering, green chemistry, advanced analytical methods, with many projects interfacing with

  • fine chemistry, biomass valorization
  • life sciences (biomolecules, pharmaceutical chemistry, cosmetics)
  • environnemental sciences (diagnosis, prevention, remediation),
  • materials science (elaboration, structural and functional properties)


The Institute is organized into 5 Research Teams

  • Methodology for organic synthesis
  • Biomolecules: synthesis and action mechanisms
  • Coordination chemistry
  • Chemistry of Natural Substances
  • Functional polymer and networks

Academics, Staff and Students

About 100 people are currently working in the Institute

  • 45 academics
  • 11 CNRS staff (6 senior researchers, 1 junior res., 4 engineers)
  • 18 engineers, technical and administrative staffs
  • 30 graduate students and post-doctorants

Fields of Expertise

Organic synthesis – Catalysis – Coordination chemistry – Therapeutical chemistry – Natural substances – Separation methods – Organic structural analysis – Macromolecular chemistry – Encapsulation – Chemical valorization of biomass – Molecular modelling – Pharmaceutical Technology – Polymer materials - Environmental chemistry – Enzyme inhibition

Methodology for organic synthesis

6 Academics, 2 Researchers CNRS, 1 Research Engineer

Coordinator: Dr Jean-Bernard Behr

  • Catalysis
  • Photochemistry
  • Synthesis of organometallics (Pd, Ti, Zr…)
  • Valorisation of biomass

keywords: Transition metals chemistry, chemistry of heteroelements (F, S, Si…), radical reactions, asymmetric synthesis, reaction mechanism studies, carbohydrate chemistry, glucides, detergents , bioactive molecules.

Biomolecules: synthesis and action mechanisms

16 Academics, 1 Researchers CNRS, 1 Research Engineer

Coordinator: Dr Arnaud Haudrechy

  • Anti-cancer candidates
  • Aminoacids, peptides, peptidomimetics
  • Nucleosides and nucleotides
  • Heteroaromatics and/or terpene-type compounds
  • Carbohydrate chemistry and agro-sources
  • Molecular modelling

keywords: Enzymatic inhibition, G-quadruplex ligands, DNA photodamage, matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors, carbohydrates, glycosidase inhibitors, chemoenzymatic synthesis, valorisation of biomass.

Coordination chemistry

11 Academics, 2 Research Engineers

Coordinator: Prof. Emmanuel Guillon

  • Health

Complexes for therapy and imaging (optical and magnetic) → Photo-Dynamic Therapy Molecular and nanoparticular probes for imaging (MRI and optical imaging)

  • Environment

Ionic liquids, dendrimers and surfactants (biosourced)

Macroscopic and molecular approach of pollutant fate in the environment (metals, emerging pollutants, pesticides)

keywords: transition metals; lanthanides; PDT; luminescence; MRI; characterization of complexes (structure, properties, stability); solid-solution interface; surface characterization; ionic liquids; dendrimers; valorisation of biomass.

Chemistry of Natural Substances

6 Academics, 1 Researcher CNRS, 3 Engineers & technicians

Coordinator: Dr Jean-Marc Nuzillard

  • Isolation, purification of complex natural products (saponins, terpenes, carbohydrates, alkaloids, polyphenols)
    Centrifugal partition chromatography
  • Structure elucidation by NMR and MS
    Advanced NMR methods

keywords: secondary metabolites, peptides and proteins from plants; pharmacologically active natural products; cosmetic active ingredients; structure elucidation by computer; micro-imaging by NMR; new extractive/separative methods.

Functional polymers and networks

6 Academics, 1 Researcher CNRS, 1 Research Engineer

Coordinator: Prof. Xavier Coqueret

  • Clean processes for polymer crosslinking
  • Encapsulation (for cosmetics or therapeutic purposes)
  • Radiation chemistry
  • Bio-based monomers and polymers

keywords: Starch,«green monomers»,oligo- and polysaccharides, lignin, grafting, polymerisation, biodegradation, clean processes, micro- nano- bio-encapsulation, vectorisation, gels, functional materials, composites.

Main Scientific Equipments :

  • NMR spectrometers at 300, 500 and 600 MHz (Solution, HR-MAS, solid state, imaging)
  • ESR spectrometer
  • Mass spectrometers : MALDI-ToF, GCT, ESI-Q-TOF
  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • Atomic emission and absorption spectrophotometers (ICP-AES)
  • Spectrofluorimeters
  • Potentiometry, voltamperometry, polarography
  • UV-visible, FTIR (MIR, NIR, ATR), Polarimeters
  • Chromatographic methods CPC, HPLC, GC, FPLC, LC-MS, GC-MS, CES
  • Pilot Extraction Plat-form (grinder, centrifugators, L/L, ASE, EPC,
  • extractors, …)
  • Microanalysis (C, H, N, S)
  • Malvern nanosizer (DLS, SLS)
  • Peptide synthetizer, oligonucleotide synthetizer
  • Radiation sources and processors (UV, electron beam)
  • Mini-extruder, tensile testing machine
  • Thermophysical analysis (DSC, DMA)
  • Plat-form for molecular modelling (Romeo URCA)

Plat-Form For Analytics and Chemical Transformation - PlAneT

The PlAneT platform operated by our Institute supports the activity of academic and industrial research laboratories located on our campus and in the Champagne Ardenne region. PlAneT covers a whole range of advanced structural characterization methods for molecular compounds as well quantitative chemical analysis. State-of–the-art equipments and expert scientists provide routine analysis as well as on-demand analytical service.

Contact : Dr. Dominique Harakat >

ICMR Supports Academic Curricula and Training at URCA

Master of Science degrees Field :« Biology, Chemistry, Life Sciences »

Master « Chemistry, Natural Products, Drugs »

  • Chemistry (Organic, Pharmaceutical, Inorganic, Polymer) (CHIMO)
  • Natural Products: production and valorisation (PROVALI)
  • Drugs : Product Quality and Regulatory Affairs (MQR)

Master « Engineering of Natural and Industrial Environments »

  • Security, Quality, Hygiene, Environment (SQHE)
  • Environmental Management of Wastes (MEDE)

Master « Production and valorisation of agro-sources/agromolecules »

  • Speciality « Design Elaboration and Performances of Products derived from Agromolecules »
  • Alimentary and non-food valorisation of agro-sources

Overview of the Research Projects

Projects supported in the frame of State RegionProjects Contract CPER 2007-2013

  • PlAneT: Platform for analytics and Chemical Transformation
  • FURASYNTH: Developmentof a set of synthesis methods hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF)
  • XYLOCOS: New moleculesbased Xylose of Plant origin for anti-aging applications chemo-enzymatic synthesis and evaluation of the biological properties

Projects funded by the French national Research Agency

  • RafiA:Elaboration oftextile fibres by photopolymerization of biobased monomers
  • CAPSHYDR: Fabrication,characterization and modelling of capsules under constraints hydrodynamic
  • ANTIBIO-T: Development of newantibacterial agents that target the metalloenzyme GcpE
  • xPC:Intensificationof reactions and purifications by liquid centrifugal processes
  • HFOrgCat: “5-hydroxyfuran-2 (5H) as a platform molecule developing new “one-pot” asymmetric reactions using organocatalysts"

Networks and thematic groups of CNRS

  • Chemistry and Processes for Sustainable Development : Solvolysis of lignins, monomers derived from itaconic acid, levulinic acid as a plat-form molecule, ….
  • National Chemiotheque

Federative Structures related to Health Research

  • Federative Research Structure Cap Santé: Interactions Cell Microenvironnement
  • Cancer therapy, microenvironnement and tumor development: natural and synthetic compounds for metalloproteinase inhibition, antiroliferative metabolites from biomass
  • Treatment of infection, of inflammation and tissue reparation: synthesis of MMP inhibitors, vegetal matrikines
  • Dynamic and functional imaging:tissue imaging using NMR
  • Federative Research Structure Condorcet
  • Cancéropôle Grand-Est

Projects supported by Competitiveness Clusters