Enzyme and Cell Engineering (GEC) – UMR CNRS 7025
The GEC Laboratory has a privileged position in French research acting as a federator for biological research in the Hauts de France region in associating UTC and Université de Picardie Jules Verne (Amiens). Positioned mid-way between biology and chemistry, GEC is a joint unit affiliated to the Institutes for Biological Sciences and Chemistry at the CNRS.
The research activities carried out at GEC are centered on the premise that solutions to scientific challenges are present in Nature. They combine three main approaches: utilization of bioresources, bioinspiration and biomimicry.
Building on its national and international acknowledged expertise in biotechnology, GEC implements various complex models to understand the biological processes and to find innovative solutions tailored to meet the scientific and societal needs and challenges.
Hence, the research activities of GEC are organized within exploitation of bioresources and plant metabolism, and development of bioinspired nanomaterials or molecular mimics dedicated to molecular recognition.
Research teams and thematics
The laboratory is currently gathering its research in two themes, while developing activities at the interface:
Theme Plant Metabolism and Bioresources
This theme tackles a set of scientific challenges related to lipid systems knowledge to modify metabolic pathways in order to improve plant oil yields, to produce unusual fatty acids and to better valorize bioresources by differential treatments of plant biomass, benefiting from its territorial anchoring. All of these activities take advantage of the whole plant to identify innovative sustainable processes, the results of which being usable in bio refinery. In this theme, other research topics arouse an increasing interest: the study of interactions between hosts (mainly plants) and pathogens (bacteria) by identifying mechanisms having roles in the initiation of bacterial colonization and insuring plant protection, as well as the study of the impact of climate changes on plant lipid metabolism.
Theme Biomimicry and Biomolecular Diversity
In this theme, two approaches complement each other, focused on biomimicry and bioinspiration. A first approach develops technologies aiming at obtaining artificial molecular diversity in which it is possible to select biomolecules of interest to specifically recognize identified targets. Molecular diversities can exceed billions, which is comparable to natural diversity of the immune system. A second approach develops functional nanomaterials dedicated to molecular recognition. With efficiencies comparable to those of antibodies, they can cover any scopes of application (health, food industry…) and may also fit to fundamental studies.
Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM), Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), Lund University (Suède), Queen Mary University (Londres, Royaume-Uni), université de Picardie Jules Verne (Amiens)…
The GEC laboratory is developing projects in collaboration with other academic partners in France and abroad, in particular for ITE PIVERT.
Picardie Region projects
BIOMIP : Natural or synthetic origin bio-degradable materials play an increasingly important role in today's society, in packaging techniques, in agriculture and in medicine. The research teams are working on vectorisation systems that lead to new bio-degradable capable of interacting specifically with the targets and with modular or controllable activities.
In this project, the research team proposes development of bio-degradable (via enzyme activity) polymeric materials. The aim of the project is to design and develop new multi-functional materials for bothbio-medical and environmental purposes.
ITE PIVERT, EU programme GENESYS
ANOI is a programme to improve specific features of industrially attractive oil-bearing plants and to enable identification and classification of various possible oil-bearing plants and then to improve crop productivity for four model plants (colza 00, erucic acid colza, camoline and brassica carinata).
MetaLipPro-PL1 constitutes a knowledge acquirement phase that will enable the research teams to improve and complete our knowledge about lipoid metabolism for plants and for yeasts. Another aim is to establish the bases for the purpose of developing a pilot platform for lipid production and extraction.
The research work proposed will be developed in the framework of the VARIAPRO project 5 that will allow the scientist to establish the bases for pedoclimatic environmental varieties, and to follow the evolution of specific features selected in time, for the purpose of identifying efficient crop protection.
COPIBIOM, is a 3 year programme in cooperation with the UTC-TIMR lab, with UPJV (Jules Verne university) and the Glucid Valorisation Centre (CVG, Amiens),for the purpose of characterizing and studying new ligno-cellulose wet biomass pre-treatment protocols (colza and sunflower stems and leaves) and dry protocols (colza straw and outer shells, and sunflower shells).
SAMOSS will lead to improvements of bio-sensors in a combination with opto-chemical detection techniques in various applications and via a large dissemination of the new knowledge obtained. SAMOSS will lead to the creation of a European 'excellence' centre for the training of young research scientists and development of bio-sensors adapted to applications in medicine, in agro-food and drink applications as well as for environmental questions.
The HOLOSENSE project aims at developing holographic bio-sensors using biomimic polymers with molecular prints (MIPs) as the recognition agents. MIPsare synthetic sensors that display affinities and selectivity levels comparable with those of antibodies or enzymes, but with a far higher degree of stability. They are obtained by polymerizing monomers in the presence of a "template" molecule (equivalent to a gauged dye-mould). This kind of economic and stable sensor, base as it is on using a MIP as thee recognition agent and on a hologram as the transducer has lots of potential for analyses in biomedical research, in the agro-food sector and in environmental work, in industrial sectors and even in day-today life.
The AcCatPat project focuses on the study of catalytic antibodies. The work includes analysis of physio-pathological relevance of catalytic antibodies for human patients, the identification of cat. V genes which encode the antibodies with catalytic activity and the development or relevant research tools specific to deciphering the molecular structures of catalytic antibodies and the ontogenesis and selection processes for the lymphocytes B that produce them.
The objectives assigned to the PT-flax project are to supply new genomic data about flax fibre and linseed and to build an important bio-resource, viz., aphenotype data base and the TILLing platform which will prove extremely useful for future genomic projects related to flax and its uses.
The Sorbonne universities cluster project
Microcystins (MC) are secondary metabolites produced by cyanobacteria, le latter being organisms that proliferate in ponds … MCs are toxic for all other aquatic life, for land-based animals and humans if their concentration in drinking water exceeds a certain threshold. This fact and observations has led the WHO (World Health Organization) to set contaminant threshold values. To comply with these values, various detection protocols must be implemented. Current approaches underscore the limits for immunotechnologies.
Consequently, the SelAcMC project aims at selecting antibody fragments that combat microcystins, and will lead to immune-detection tests to be used in various ecosystems. The main thrust of the project relies on using the Phage Display technique in order to identify one or several antibodies capable of specifically identifying one of the most common MC variants. The research team also envisage a parallel 'rationalization' approach using molecular modelling and biology specific computer sciences.
Zoom on 2 projects
Contact and documentation
Contacts de la recherche à l'UTC
Plaquette de la recherche à l'UTC