At the crossroad of researches in relation with microbial virulence, drug resistance mechanisms, drug target characterization and medicinal/supramolecular chemistry

Our research covers a wide spectrum of activities incorporating the elucidation of viral and bacterial virulence and of antibacterial drug resistance mechanisms, the conception of molecules and polymers designed for potential therapeutic applications, the discovery of new antimicrobial activities, the supramolecular chemistry and the structural characterization of biomacromolecules

About us

logo unité microbiologieThe Microbiology, Bioorganic and Macromolecular Chemistry (MBMC) unit of the ULB Faculty of Pharmacy is a multidisciplinary team, composed of members from different backgrounds and different areas of expertise.

The research group directed by Prof. Meyer is focused on supramolecular chemistry mainly based on halogen bonding and the preparation of polymers targeting functional materials and biomaterials.

The Dufrasne's research group is especially involved in solving problems related to the finding of new hits as receptor agonists/antagonists or enzyme inhibitors in collaboration with other teams working on molecular docking and protein crystallization at the University. Further developments can be made in-house such as lead generation, toxicological testing and drug preformulation to achieve animal testing.

Our research in Microbiology (the group of Prof. Fontaine) is mainly focused to fight two diseases: the cervical cancer due to the high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) and the tuberculosis mainly due to M. tuberculosis. In virology, we are currently studying the transcriptional HPV-16 promoter regulation and the integration mechanism of the viral genome but we are also working with the Universidad Mayor San Simon at Cochabamba in Bolivia to improve the cervical cancer screening and treatment. In mycobacteriology, we are studying the M. tuberculosis mechanisms allowing the pathogen to escape drug bactericidal activities and to develop virulence. This lead us to characterize new targets and discover new antituberculous drug candidates.

Research of Wintjens'group is mainly concerned with, but not limited to, the characterization of interactions at atomic level between a protein target and drug-like small molecules with the primary aim of setting up a rational basis for the development of new drugs.


Senior scientists

Prof. Franck MEYER
+32 (0) 2 650 52 06

Prof. Paule BOUSSARD
+32 (0) 2 650 51 01

Prof. Véronique FONTAINE
+32 (0) 2 650 52 96


Prof. François DUFRASNE
+32 (0) 2 650 52 35

+32 (0) 2 650 51 80


Postdoctoral fellows and scientific collaborators

Dr. Gilles BERGER
+32 (0) 2 650 52 48

Dr. Michel GELBCKE
+32 (0) 2 650 52 35


PhD students

+32 (0) 2 650 52 48

+32 (0) 2 650 52 89

Faustine RAVON
+32 (0) 2 650 53 18

+32 (0) 2 650 53 18

Ibrahima Sory SOW
+32 (0) 2 650 52 89

Camille GROSSE
+32 (0) 2 526 72 80

Danlei SUN
+32 (0) 2 650 51 74

+32 (0) 2 650 53 18

+32 (0) 2 650 52 06

Abdalkarim TANINA
+32 (0) 2 650 51 96

+32 (0) 2 650 51 74

Zhiyu ZHOU
+32 (0) 2 650 51 74


Expert technicians

+32 (0) 2 650 53 13

+32 (0) 2 650 59 31

Master students


Ekaterina ALBERT (2015-2019)

Pedro SURRIABRE (2014-2019)

Janine RALET (1990-2018)

Hugues FOUOTSA (2019)
Postdoc - University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon)

Ibaa Chikh ALARD (2013-2018)

Shen ZENG (2014-2019)

Jingwen LIANG (2016-2018)

Céline RENS (2011-2018)

• Organic synthesis
• Supramolecular chemistry
• Polymer chemistry
• Functional materials
• NMR analysis
• Structure-activity relationships
• Mycobacteriology
• Antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities
• Transcriptional regulation
• X-ray crystallography
• Structural biology
• Structure-based drug design

• Yang D, Vandenbussche G, Vertommen D, Evrard D, Abskharon R, Cavalier JF, Berger G, Canaan S, Khan MS, Zeng S, Wohlkönig A, Prévost M, Soumillion P & Fontaine V (2019). Methyl arachidonyl fluorophosphonate inhibits Mycobacterium tuberculosis thioesterase TesA and globally affects vancomycin susceptibility. FEBS Lett. abstract

• Allende G, Surriabre P, Cáceres L, Bellot D, Ovando N, Torrico A, Calle P, Ascarrunz C, Alexander S, Bossens M, Fontaine V & Rodríguez P (2019). Evaluation of the self-sampling for cervical cancer screening in Bolivia. BMC Public Health 19:80. abstract

• Marloye M, Lawler SE & Berger G (2019). Current patent and clinical status of stimulator of interferon genes (STING) agonists for cancer immunotherapy. Pharm. Pat. Anal. abstract

• Prevet H, Moune M, Tanina A, Kemmer C, Herledan A, Frita R, Wohlkönig A, Bourotte M, Villemagne B, Leroux F, Gitzinger M, Baulard AR, Déprez B, Wintjens R, Willand N & Flipo M (2019). A fragment-based approach towards the discovery of N-substituted tropinones as inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transcriptional regulator EthR2. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 167:426-438. abstract

• Berger G, Marloye M & Lawler SE (2019). Pharmacological modulation of the STING pathway for cancer immunotherapy. Trends Mol. Med. 25:412-427. abstract

• Tanina A, Wohlkönig A, Soror SH, Flipo M, Villemagne B, Prevet H, Déprez B, Moune M, Perée H, Meyer F, Baulard AR, Willand N & Wintjens R (2019). A comprehensive analysis of the protein-ligand interactions in crystal structures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis EthR. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1867:248-258. abstract

• Zeng S, Constant P, Yang D, Baulard A, Lefèvre P, Daffé M, Wattiez R & Fontaine V (2019). Cpn60.1 (GroEL1) contributes to mycobacterial crabtree effect: implications for biofilm formation. Front Microbiol. 10:1149. abstract

Kim JH, Mertens RT, Agarwal A, Parkin S, Berger G & Awuah SG (2019). Direct intramolecular carbon(sp2)-nitrogen(sp2) reductive elimination from gold(iii). Dalton Trans. 48:6273-6282. abstract

• Zeng S, Soetaert K, Ravon F, Vandeput M, Bald D, Kauffmann JM, Mathys V, Wattiez R & Fontaine V (2019). Isoniazid bactericidal activity involves electron transport chain perturbation. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 63:e01841-18. abstract


Berger G, Soubhye J, Wintjens R, Robeyns K & Meyer F (2018). Crystal packing and theoretical analysis of halogen- and hydrogen-bonded hydrazones from pharmaceuticals. Evidence of type I and II halogen bonds in extended chains of dichloromethane. Acta Crystallogr. B74:618–627. abstract

• Dauchy C, Bautin N, Nseir S, Reboux G, Wintjens R, Le Rouzic O, Sendid B, Viscogliosi E, Le Pape P, Arendrup MC, Gosset P, Fry S & Fréalle E (2018). Emergence of Aspergillus fumigatus azole resistance in azole-naïve patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and their homes. Indoor Air 28:298-306. abstract

• Mbosso Teinkela JE, Siwe Noundou X, Nguemfo EL, Meyer F, Wintjens R, Isaacs M, Mpondo Mpondo AE, Hoppe HC, Krause RWM & Azebaze AGB (2018). Biological activities of plant extracts from Ficus elastica and Selaginella vogelli: an antimalarial, antitrypanosomal and cytotoxity evaluation. Saudi J. Biol. Sci. 25:117-122. abstract

Rens C, Laval F, Wattiez R, Lefèvre P, Dufrasne F, Daffé M & Fontaine V (2018). I3-Ag85 effect on phthiodiolone dimycocerosate synthesis. Tuberculosis 108:93-95. abstract

• Berger G & Lawler SE (2018). Novel non-nucleotidic STING agonists for cancer immunotherapy. Future Med. Chem. 10:2767-2769. abstract

• Rens C, Ceyssens PJ, Laval F, Lefèvre P, Mathys V, Daffé M & Fontaine V (2018). Aloe emodin reduces phthiodiolone dimycocerosate potentiating vancomycin susceptibility on mycobacteria. Indian J. Microbiol. 58:393-396. abstract

• Vernekar AA, Berger G, Czapar AE, Veliz FA, Wang DI, Steinmetz NF & Lippard SJ (2018). Speciation of phenanthriplatin and its analogs in the core of tobacco mosaic virus. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 140:4279-4287. abstract

• Sjollema J, Zaat SAJ, Fontaine V, Ramstedt M, Luginbuehl R, Thevissen K, Li J, van der Mei HC & Busscher HJ (2018). In vitro methods for the evaluation of antimicrobial surface designs. Acta Biomater. 70:12-24. abstract

• Berger G, Grauwet K, Zhang H, Hussey AM, Nowicki MO, Wang DI, Chiocca EA, Lawler SE & Lippard SJ (2018). Anticancer activity of osmium(VI) nitrido complexes in patient-derived glioblastoma initiating cells and in vivo mouse models. Cancer Letters 416:138-148. abstract

• Soubhye J, van Antwerpen P & Dufrasne F (2018). Targeting cytosolic phospholipase A2α for novel anti-inflammatory agents. Curr. Med. Chem. 25:2418-2447. abstract


• C. Vande Velde, Advanced Reactor Technology, Faculty of Applied Engineering, University of Antwerp, Hoboken
• K. Robeyns, Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences (IMCN), UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve
• P. Dubois, J. M. Raquez,Center of Innovation and Research in Materials and Polymers (CIRMAP), UMons, Mons
• J. Cornil, R. Lazzaroni, Laboratory of Chemistry for Novel Materials, UMons, Mons
• K. Van Hecke, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Ghent University, Ghent
• T. Verbiest, Molecular Imaging and Photonic, KUL, Leuven
G. Roos, General Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels
R. Wattiez, Department of Proteomics and Microbiology, UMons, Mons
P. Soumillion, Institut des Sciences de la Vie, UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve
D. Vertommen, Institut de Duve
T. Leyssens, Molecular Chemistry, Materials and Catalysis, UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve


• S. Clément, Institut Charles Gerhardt, Université de Montpellier 2, CMOS, Montpellier, France
• F. Vidal, Laboratoire de Physicochimie des Polymères et des Interfaces, Université de Cergy Pontoise, France
• B. Crousse, Laboratoire BioCIS associé au CNRS, Centre d’Etudes Pharmaceutiques, France
• A. van der Lee, Institut Européen des Membranes, CNRS - UMR 5635, Université Montpellier 2, France
• G. Resnati, P. Metrangolo, Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali ed Ingegneria Chimica "G. Natta", Milano, Italy
• H. Sirringhaus
, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
V. Laudenbach, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Rouen, France
C. Obinger, Department of Chemistry, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
B. Elfving, Center for psykiatrisk forskning, Århus Universitetshospital, Risskov, Denmark
S. Bombard, INSERM, Unité INSERM UMR-S 1007, Homéostasie cellulaire et cancer, Université Paris Descartes, France
J. Sa, Department of Chemistry - Ångström Laboratory, Physical Chemistry , Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, Sweden
J. Czapla‑Masztafiak, E. Lipiec, Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kraków, Poland
Y. Kayser, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen, Switzerland
J. Szlachetko, Institute of Physics, Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland
J. Flemmig, Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics, Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig, Germany
M. Daffé, Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology, University of Toulouse, France
A. Baulard, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Centre Infection and Immunity of Lille, France
P. Supply, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Centre Infection and Immunity of Lille, France
P. Brodin, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Centre Infection and Immunity of Lille, France
P. Bertrand, UMR 7285 - Institut de Chimie des Milieux et Matériaux de Poitiers (IC2MP), Université de Poitiers, France
C. Abbadie, Initiation of Epithelial Cancers, Institut Pasteur de Lille, France
D. Bald, Faculty of Sciences, Structural Biology, Vrij University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
N. Bayan, I2BC Institut de Biologie Cellulaire Intégrative, Université Paris Sud, France
F. Sobott, The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, UK
S. Canaan, Laboratoire d'Ingénierie des Systèmes Macromoléculaires, Marseilles, France


• J. E. T. Mbosso, Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences Pharmaceutiques (FMSP), Université de Douala, Cameroon
Y. Boufadi, Université Mostaganem, Algeria

North America

• S. E. Lawler, Harvey Cushing Neuro-Oncology Laboratories, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

South America

• P. Rodriguez, Universidad Mayor San Simon, Faculty of Medicine, Cochabamba, Bolivia


P. Bifani, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
S. Zeng, T. Zhang, Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, China




Ekaterina BOJILOVA "Impact of histone deacetylase inhibitors on the HPV-16 transcriptional activity and genomic integration"

Pedro SURRIABRE "Développement d’une stratégie adaptée à la situation bolivienne pour la détection des papillomavirus humains de haut risque"

Sheng ZENG "Mycobacterium bovis BCG chaperonin 60.1 contributes to adaptations under stresses : implication for escaping isoniazid bactericidal mechanism and for mycobacterial biofilm growth"


Ibaa CHIKH ALARD “Development of novel multi-responsive materials characterized by potential controlled release properties”

• Céline RENS "Etude de la régulation transcriptionnelle de gènes nécessaires à la synthèse ou au transport de PDIM chez Mycobacterim bovis BCG et Mycobacterium tuberculosis"

Université Libre de Bruxelles
Plaine campus, CP 206/04
Building BC
Boulevard de Triomphe, access 2
1050 Brussels
Mis à jour le 13 novembre 2019