Newcomer, Hugo Lebrette

18 February 2022 par Patricia Siguier
A new structural biologist who wants to decipher the metalloproteome of mycoplasmas.

Hugo Lebrette

Recruited as a CNRS CRCN (CNS 20) in 2021, I was previously selected by the CBI through the call for new group leader in 2020. My research project aims to characterize the metalloproteome essential for mycoplasma survival.

Since the beginning of my scientific career, I have been interested in metal homeostasis and metalloenzyme chemistry in bacteria. I performed a PhD in structural biology at the Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS) / University of Grenoble, under the supervision of Christine Cavazza, in the Metalloproteins group directed by Juan Fontecilla-Camps. The objective of my PhD was to characterize, in particular by X-ray crystallography, extracytoplasmic nickel-binding proteins of ABC importers, in order to better understand the acquisition strategies of this metal by microbial pathogens. Then, I have done a long postdoc in Stockholm, in the group of Martin Högbom at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University. My research focused on the study of catalytic mechanisms of iron and manganese enzymes such as the ribonucleotide reductase. Notably, we were using X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) in order to observe catalytic intermediates simultaneously by crystallography and spectroscopy.
Today, I aim to set up a new team within the LMGM-CBI and I am applying this year to the ATIP and ANR JCJC grants. Through my research project, I want to further develop my scientific interest in metal homeostasis and characterize the mechanisms of metal acquisition and utilization in “minimalist” bacteria such as mycoplasmas. I will use biochemical and structural biology methods in order to implement an integrative and multidisciplinary approach.

Coming from cold places, between Grenoble and Stockholm, I am delighted to join the radiant Toulouse and to take advantage of the stimulating scientific environment and expertise of the LMGM-CBI, which will be key in the success of my project.