Curriculum Vitae

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Prof. Gilles BERGER, PharmD-PhD

Assistant Professor in Medicinal Chemistry, ULB
Visiting Scholar, Wyss Institute – Harvard
Research Associate, MIT

 

RESEARCH POSITIONS

  • Assistant Professor and PI – ULB 2020-current Brussels, Belgium

Starting my own lab at ULB. Translational science covering theoretical topics, chemistry and novel anticancer therapeutics with a focus on innate immunity.

  • Visiting Scholar, Wyss Institute Harvard 2021-current Cambridge, US

David Mooney lab. Intracranial immunotherapies for brain cancers.

  • Research Associate – MIT, 2019-current Cambridge, US

Brad Pentelute lab. BBB-penetrating peptides and peptide drug conjugates. Development of peptide therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy.

  • Research Fellow – Harvard Medical School, 2019-2020           Boston, US

Sean Lawler lab. Currently a Research Fellow of the Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, working on glioblastoma treatment and novel targets for cancer immunotherapy, especially the STING pathway.

  • Postdoctoral Associate – ULB, 2017-2019 Brussels, Belgium

RD3 – Microbiology, Bioorganic and Macromolecular Chemistry. Drug design and synthesis. Anticancer metallodrugs. Halogen bonding and supramolecular recognition.

  • Postdoctoral Fellow – MIT, 2015-2017 Cambridge, US

Stephen J. Lippard Lab. Development and evaluation of novel anticancer metallodrugs. Nanodelivery of anticancer agents.

  • Postdoctoral Associate – Université de Montréal, 2014-2015 Montreal, Canada

Stephen Hanessian Lab. Organic synthesis and bioorganic chemistry. Folding properties of modified prolines. Organocatalysis. Total synthesis.

 

EDUCATION

  • Université Libre de Bruxelles Brussels, Belgium

Doctor of Philosophy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, December 2013. Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. PhD Thesis: “Synthesis of chiral vicinal diamines and in vitro anticancer properties of their platinum(II) coordinates”. Advisor: Prof. François Dufrasne (Head: Prof. Jean Nève).

  • Université Libre de Bruxelles Brussels, Belgium

Doctor of Pharmacy, with Grande Distinction (manga cum laude), June 2005. 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: Prof. Mike Parsons (University of Hertfordshire), Prof. Jeanine Fontaine (ULB). 

AWARDS

  • 2010 Best scientific communication – PhD Day, Belgium
  • 2011 UCB-Pharma Award – Medicinal Chemistry Days, Belgium
  • 2015 BAEF and Hoover Foundation Fellow (MIT)
  • 2015 Fulbright Scholar Award (MIT)
  • 2016 UCB-Servier Young Investigator Award – Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • 2018 Research Fellow of the Belgian Science Foundation (FRS-FNRS)
  • Invited Lecturer, University of Tabasco – Mexico, 2017

GRANTS

  • FRS-FNRS Fellow
  • Fulbright Scholar
  • Belgian American Educational Foundation
  • ULB Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • BRI Microgrant

LABORATORY SKILLS

  • Organic synthesis including asymmetric, anhydrous and air-free techniques. Multistep and complex planning, design and execution.
  • NMR spectroscopy: 1D and 2D (COSY, HSQC, HMBC, NOESY) techniques for various nuclides (1H, 13C, 15N, 19F, 31P, 195Pt).
  • FTIR, UV-Vis, HRMS, ICP-MS, LC-MS , HPLC.
  • Quantum calculations on Unix-based clusters (Gaussian, ORCA, Q-Chem and others): Hartree-Fock, Möller-Plesset, density functional theory, coupled-clusters.
  • Molecular docking (Glide, AutoDock), molecular dynamics (Desmond, NAMD).
  • Gel electrophoresis, cell culture, western blotting, cytotoxicity assays, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, in vivo mouse models.

TEACHING

  • Supervision of MSc and PhD theses 2010-current
  • Teaching assistant for General and Pharmaceutical chemistry 2008-2015, ULB

NON-ACADEMIC POSITIONS

Pfizer                                                                          Nossegem, Belgium

Contract Operations and Quality Assurance Europe, 2007-2008

REFEREE/REVIEWER

Cell Death & Differentiation, Chemical Physics Letters, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Current Medicinal Chemistry, Future Medicinal Chemistry, ACS Inorganic Chemistry, Journal of Molecular Structure, Letters in Organic Chemistry, Molecules, Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures, New Journal of Chemistry, Oncotarget, Talanta.

MEMBERSHIP

  • Member of the American Chemical Society
  • Member of the Belgian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

For a full list, please see the Publications page. Or download here.

  1. Berger, G.; Vilchis-Reyes, M.; Hanessian, S. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 13268–13272.
  2. Chattopadhyay, A. K.; Ly, V. L.; Jakkepally, S.; Berger, G.; Hanessian, S. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 2577–2581.
  3. Vernekar A.; Berger G.; Czapar A.; Wang D.I.; Steinmetz N.; Lippard S. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, accepted manuscript.
  4. Chattopadhyay, A. K.; Berger, G.; Hanessian, S. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 5074−5086.
  5. Berger, G. Comput. Theor. Chem. 2013, 1010, 11–18.
  6. Berger, G.; Grauwet, K.; Zhang, H.; Hussey, A. M.; Nowicki, M. O.; Wang, D. I.; Chiocca, E. A.; Lawler, S. E.; Lippard, S. J. Cancer Lett. 2018, 416 (2018), 138–148.

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