The ChemBioNAC team (11 permanent researchers) led by Prof. Michael Smietana is part of the Nucleic Acids Department at the Institute of Biomolecules Max Mousseron in Montpellier (France). Our expertise focuses on the chemical biology of nucleic acids and relies in the design, synthesis and analysis of natural or modified oligonucleotides for diagnostic, sensing and therapeutic purposes. The scope of our research also extends to the use of nucleic acids as functional systems in biology and also in synthetic chemistry. Bioinspired systems have been designed and engineered to understand, mimic or trigger biological processes. The team is well known for its expertise in the chemical synthesis of modified DNAs or RNAs for different applications. Over the last few years, we have gained undeniable experience in the methodology of natural and modified DNA and RNA synthesis. The team is equipped with 2 oligonucleotide synthesizers (1  ABI, 1 MerMade) dedicated to the automated synthesis of DNA or RNA, 6 HPLC devices for the analysis and the purification of oligonucleotides and 1 MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer for their characterization. The team has also access to the IBMM analytical platform of (NMR and Mass spectrometers).

Our Themes

Synthesis of natural or modified DNA and RNA, Synthesis of DNA Glycoclusters, Synthesis of Capped RNA, Synthesis of RNA Prodrugs, RNA microarrays

Synthesis of methyl transferases inhibitors, Synthesis of Carbonic anhydrases inhibitors, Synthesis of polymerases inhibitors, Synthesis of Cyclic dinucleotides

DNA-based enantioselective synthesis, DNA-templated ligations, Split-aptamers, Bioinspired phosphodiesters foldamers.

The members of the team



Michael Smietana was educated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.  He received his PhD in 2001 from the University of Strasbourg under the guidance of the late Dr Charles Mioskowski. He then joined Stanford University as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Eric Kool’s group for two years. In 2004, he moved to the University of Montpellier as an Assistant Professor, working in the Nucleic Acids Department of the Institute of Biomolecules Max Mousseron (IBMM). He was appointed Associate Professor in 2010 and Full Professor in 2012. In 2018 he received the Jean-Marie Lehn award from the Organic Chemistry Division of the French Chemical Society. Since 2020 he leads the ChemBioNAC team at Institute of Biomolecules Max Mousseron. His current research interests focus on molecular recognition, DNA-based asymmetric catalysis and nucleic acid bioconjugates.


M2 trainee

CLAVé Guillaume
Guillaume Clavé

Associate Scientist (permanent staff)

Dr. Guillaume Clavé received an engineering degree from the École Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques de Nancy in 2005. He obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Rouen Normandie University in 2009 under the supervision of Pr. Pierre-Yves Renard working on new bioconjugation reagents. He then joined the CEA (Paris-Saclay...

DEBART Françoise
Françoise Debart

Senior Scientist (permanent staff)

Françoise Debart obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Montpellier in 1989 in the laboratory of Prof. J.-L. Imbach. In the same year, she joined the French National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) as an Associate Researcher. From 1990 to 1992, she was a post-doctoral fellow at IONIS Pharmaceuticals...

DUPOUY Christelle
Christelle Dupouy

Assistant Professor (permanent staff)

Christelle Dupouy received her Ph.D in 2007 from the University Paul Sabatier – Toulouse-3 under the supervision of Dr Jean-Marc Escudier, on the synthesis and properties of constrained dinucleotides. She, then joined the Prof. J. Chattopadhayaya’s group at Uppsala University (Sweden) for a one year post-doctorate fellow. She worked on...

GRAIDIA Nessrine
Nessrine Graidia

Technical staff (temporary) ,temporary position

GRAS Marion
Marion Gras

graduate student

Anaïs Guillou

graduate student

Marcel Hausdorff

graduate student

Muhamad Hussein

post-doctoral associate

Marie Joyeux

graduate student

MORVAN François
François Morvan

Senior Scientist (permanent staff)

François Morvan received his PhD in organic chemistry (1988) at the University of Montpellier (France) under the supervision of Dr Rayner and Prof. Imbach on the synthesis of α-DNA. In 1989, he was hired at the Inserm on modified oligonucleotides for antisense applications. From 1992 to 1993, he worked at...

Laura Nicollet

graduate student

Team Publications