Professor Emeritus (University of Strasbourg)
E-mail :
Phone : +33 (0)3 68 85 13 46

Scientific Degrees and present position

Ingénieur, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Strasbourg (1970)
Docteur ès Sciences, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg (1975): Triterpénoïdes de Procaryotes/supervisor: Prof. Guy Ourisson


1974-78, Assistant/Maître-Assistant (Pharmacognosy, Botany), Faculty of Pharmacy, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg.

August 1978 – September 1979, Post-doctoral scholar in Professor Djerassi’s group, Stanford University, California.

From October 1979 to August 1994, Professor of Organic Chemistry, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse, Université de Haute Alsace, Mulhouse.

From January 1991 to March 1995, Director of the « Unité de Recherche Associée 135 » (Laboratoire de Synthèse Organique et de Chimie Microbienne), CNRS/Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse.

From September 1994 to September 2013, Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry, Université Louis Pasteur, Faculté de Chimie, Strasbourg.

From January 2001 to September 2005, Director of the Université Louis Pasteur/CNRS joint laboratory “Synthèse, biosynthèse et activité de molécules bioactives” UMR 7123.

From January 2009 to December 2012, Director of the Université de Strasbourg/CNRS joint laboratory “Institut de Chimie de Strasbourg” UMR 7177.

From September 1st 2013, Professor Emeritus, Université de Strasbourg.

Scientific qualification and research topics

Organic chemistry, bio-organic chemistry.
Membrane lipids of microorganisms: bacterial triterpenoids (hopanoids), sterols, sterol biosynthesis in lower eukaryotes (protozoa, unicellular algae, fungi), isoprenoid biosynthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, enzyme inhibitors.
The main research topics cover the chemistry and the biochemistry of a hitherto unknown family of microbial lipids, the biohopanoids. These triterpenoids acting as bacterial sterol surrogates occur in numerous taxa, revealing extraordinarily diverse structures in which the hopane moiety is linked to carbohydrate derivatives, amino-acids or nucleosides. Biosynthetic studies in this series revealed a new, completely overlooked, mevalonate-independent methylerythritol phosphate pathway for the formation of isoprene units in bacteria, algae and higher plant chloroplasts.


ca. 235 publications

“Membre Correspondant”, French Academy of Sciences” (1996)

Member of the « Institut Universitaire de France » (1997)

Member of the French Academy of Sciences” (2003)

Member of the “Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina” (2000)


Vaillant Prize of the French Academy of Sciences (1984)

Wallach Prize from the Wallach Foundation (Mulhouse, 1993)

French-British Prize, the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences (1993)

Humboldt – Gay-Lussac Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany (1997)

Nakanishi Prize, Japan Chemical Society and American Chemical Society (2008)

Schroepfer Award, American Oil Chemists Society (2008)

Albert Hofmann Award, University of Zürich, Switzerland (2008)