• E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 6 42 81 53 84
  • Location : Pessac, France
Last update 2011-02-03 09:34:53.795

Carmelo Di Primo PhD Biochemistry/Biophysics. Expertise: Surface Plasmon Resonance, Aptamers.

Course and current status

1998-present, Research scientist (CR INSERM) at the INSERM teams (U386 & U869) directed by Jean-Jacques Toulmé and Jean-Louis Mergny (since january 2011). RNA: Natural and Artificial Regulation.

Teacher in Master I and II degrees (Structural Biochemistry, Chemistry and Nanoscience) University of Bordeaux. Fields of teaching : spectroscopy of nucleic acids, molecular interactions with nucleic acids investigated by surface plasmon resonance and biochemical methods, supervisor of undergraduate and Ph D students.

2002: Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches (HDR) University of Bordeaux-Segalen, France.

1992-1998, member of the INSERM team directed by Prof. Pierre Douzou and Prof. Pascale Debey. Research field: structural dynamics of hemoproteins investigated by hydrostatic pressure and photoacoustic calorimetry.

1990-1992: Post-doctoral fellow at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Beckman Institute and laboratory of Dr. SG Sligar. Research field: photoacoustic calorimetry of hemoproteins.

1990: Ph D in Biochemistry/Biophysics, University of Jussieu Paris VII, France, Laboratory of Prof. Douzou. Stability of hemoproteins investigated by hydrostatic pressure and site-directed mutagenesis.

Scientific summary

Trained in biophysics and biochemistry, fields of interest between 1990 and 1998 included dynamics of proteins (hemoproteins) investigated by hydrostatic pressure technologies and time-resolved photoacoustic calorimetry. C. Di Primo built an acoustic calorimeter during his post-doctoral stay in USA. A similar instrument was built back to France at the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique (Paris) to investigate molecular dynamics of cytochrome P450cam and its mutants upon binding of carbon monoxide. In 1998, joining Dr. Toulmé’s laboratory in Bordeaux (INSERM unit), he was interested in the investigation of interactions between aptamers obtained by the SELEX method and RNA targets from human viruses (HIV-1 and HCV). Interations between nucleic acids were characterized by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) together with more classical techniques (EMSA, UV-spectroscopy and chemical and enzymatic footprintings). Combination of SPR with NMR spectroscopy (collaboration J. Boisbouvier, IBS, Grenoble) and X-ray crystallography (S. Fribourg, IECB, Pessac) studies showed how RNA aptamers recognized specifically and with high affinity structured RNA targets in human viruses. C. Di Primo is a recognized expert in surface plasmon resonance (invited lectures: Rencontres de Figeac 2008; Biacore User Days, Paris 2006, Pessac 2008; SPR and microcalorimetry conference, Baltimore 2009; Conferencias BIOFORO, Bilbao, 2010) and contributes to extend the use of this technique for analysing molecular recognition between RNAs, between RNAs and other nucleic acids or proteins. This expertise in now extended  to the interactions with small molecules and lipids. C. Di Primo is scientific advisor of the SPR facility at the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie, Pessac. Current research projects include analysis of RNA-RNA and RNA-protein interactions involved in the replication of HCV and Influenza A virus, identification of aptamers targeting proteins and structured RNA of the Unfolded Protein Response in mammalian cells, development of the use of SPR with new generation intruments to investigate interactions with nucleic acids.

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