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Gilles Berger
MIT - Department of Chemistry

Ph.D., Pharm.D.

Curriculum Vitae

Gilles BERGER, Ph.D.
Fulbright Grantee
BAEF and Hoover Foundation Fellow

Massachusetts Intitute of Technology
Department of Chemistry - Lippard Lab
77, Massachusetts Avenue, Building 18-453
Cambridge, MA 02139
Email : giberger@mit.edu
Mobile: +1 857-200-8765

me

RESEARCH
Massachusetts Institute of Technology                                   Cambridge, United States
I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Stephen Lippard Lab at MIT under grants from Fulbright and the Belgian American Educational Foundation. My research is aimed at developing novel anticancer metallodrugs bearing selective toxicity toward cancer stem cells or ciplatin-resistant cell types. Novel drug delivery approachs suchs as polymeric nanomicelles, squalenoyl and virus-like nanoparticles are investigated.

Université de Montréal                                            Montreal, Canada
I completed a first post-doctoral stay in 2014 within the group of Prof. Stephen Hanessian. I mainly focused on the synthesis and study of proline derivatives, from their structural features to their electronic properties. Proline is a naturally occuring amino acid playing an important role in proteins structure and function. Proline rich sequences arrange into helical structures and are important for catalytic and recognition mechanisms. We then assessed the arrangement of oligopeptides formed by modified proline moieties. I have also been part of purely synthetic projects, mainly involved in the rationalization of reaction mechanisms by DFT calculations.

Université Libre de Bruxelles                                  Brussels, Belgium
My Ph.D. research activities focused, on the one hand, on the asymmetric synthesis of chiral vicinal diamines with the introduction of 15N-enriched material. The platinum(II) coordinates of these chiral diamines were indeed intended to be used for [1H,15N] HSQC experiments, in order to assess the numerous chemical properties associated with their anticancer activity. Parallel to this synthesis work, I made the use of density functional theory to rationalize an interesting regiochemistry question on the ring-opening reactions of N-activated aziridines. The second part of my thesis research dealt with the use of fingerprinting techniques to screen series of anticancer platinum complexes, especially FTIR spectroscopy coupled to principal component analysis. FTIR on whole cells allows to acquire a global signature of the effects arising upon treatment of the cells by the various compounds. Therefore, comparing theses signatures inside a chemical series but also to currently approved drugs, can help to identify potential leads within the series.

Université Paris-Descartes                                      Paris, France
During my stay at Paris-Descartes under the supervision of Prof. Sophie Bombard, I studied the binding modes of a series of platinum coordinates to telomeric-like sequences (i.e., in vitro G-quadruplexes). Also, the binding kinetics to a double-stranded oligonucleotide (i.e. genomic-like) were measured. All these experiments have been carried out using poly-acrylamide gel electrophoresis with radio-labeled material (32P).

University of Hertfordshire                                     Hatfield, United Kingdom
Studied the activity of endothelins on the gastro-intestinal tract of STZ-induced diabetic rats, notably their action on the spontaneous activity of smooth muscles. Indeed, diabetic patients often develop digestive complications and elevated levels of endothelins are frequently associated with diabetes mellitus. This work was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Mike Parsons, co-finder of the first H2-antagonist, cimetidine.

EDUCATION
Université Libre de Bruxelles                                  Brussels, Belgium
Doctor of Philosophy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, December 2013. Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Ph.D. Thesis: “Synthesis of chiral vicinal diamines and in vitro anticancer properties of their platinum(II) coordinates”. Advisor: Prof. François Dufrasne.

Université Libre de Bruxelles                                  Brussels, Belgium
Master of Science, Pharmaceutical Sciences, with Grande Distinction, June 2005. Master Thesis: (Foreign exchange program, University of Hertfordshire, UK): « In vitro study of the activity of endothelins on isolated stomachs and colons of diabetic and healthy rats ». Advisors: Mike Parsons (University of Hertfordshire), Jeanine Fontaine (ULB). 

LABORATORY SKILLS

GRANTS AND TRAVEL

AWARDS

NON-ACADEMIC POSITIONS
Pfizer                                                                          Nossegem, Belgium
Contract Operations and Quality Assurance Europe, 2007-2008

ARTICLES IN PEER-REVIEWED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALS

See my publications and conference participations under the Publications tab.

REFEREE/REVIEWER

Inorganic Chemistry, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Physics Letters, Current Medicinal Chemistry, Molecules, Letters in Organic Chemistry, Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures.

MEMBERSHIP

OTHER SKILLS