© Crédit Zoeisha Chinoy 2019

Frédéric FriscourtInstitut de neurosciences cognitives et intégratives d’Aquitaine (INCIA) - CNRS / Université de Bordeaux

Better understand the functional roles of complex glycans in the brain and further exploit them as novel biomarkers

Mes recherches

After completing a PhD in chemistry in 2009 on asymmetric organic catalysis with Prof. Pavel Kočovský (University of Glasgow, UK), I transitioned to the field of Chemical Biology during my postdoctoral fellowship (2009-2014) in the laboratory of Professor Geert-Jan Boons at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (GA, USA), where I developed novel bioconjugation reactions for tagging glycoconjugates. In 2014, I obtained a Junior Chair in Chemical Biology from the Excellence Initiative program (IdEx) at the University of Bordeaux, France and was recruited (2014) as a group leader at the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology in Bordeaux in order to start my research program aimed at developing novel chemical tools to probe the influence of glycans in living systems, notably in healthy vs diseased states. Being a recipient of the prestigious CNRS ATIP-Avenir award (2016) allowed me to focus my research on utilizing our tools for probing the biosynthesis of complex glycans and unravelling their functional roles in the brain, notably for detecting glycan remodeling after a traumatic brain injury.

Mon projet ATIP-Avenir

Making the invisible visible: unnatural polysialic acid as novel biomarker for the detection of brain molecular remodeling after mild brain injury

The long-lasting sequels of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) range from sleep disorders to psychiatric disorders, with a significant impact on pediatric populations with difficulties at school and integration in the society.

Unfortunately, mild TBI is highly difficult to detect clinically using traditional neuroimaging techniques. Therefore, there is an important societal need to have new biomarkers to follow over the long-term the evolution of the injury after initial trauma.

In this context, the surfaces of eukaryotic cells are covered with complex glycans that participate in a variety of physiological processes, including cell adhesion and cell-cell interactions. In the brain, polysialic acid conjugates have been identified as key players in health of the nervous system.

The project aims at developing a novel technology to selectively image sialic acid-conjugates in living systems allowing us to deepen our understanding of cell surface neuroglycans functions as well as follow brain glycan-remodeling overtime after a TBI and exploit this remodeling as potential biomarker and treatment target.