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New platform of excellence for state-of-the-art proteomics

22 May 2014 | A region on the move, Health, Nutrition and food

A scant 18 months after winning "Laboratory of excellence" status from the French government, ParaFrap, the Lille-based alliance for parasitology and healthcare founded by the local Pasteur Institute, now boasts a fully operational technology platform dedicated to research in proteomics and modified peptides.

Fighting parasites

Since October 2012, key players on the French parasitology scene have joined forces as ParaFrap, an alliance of 14 labs—including the Pasteur Institute’s Lille office—specializing in molecular research in protozoan parasites. Designated LabEx (“Laboratory of excellence”) by the French Government, the project was awarded a €12 million grant to study malaria, sleeping sickness, toxoplasmosis, leishmanioses, theileriases and amebiases. Today 19 research teams are hard at work, including two from the Pasteur Institute, which developed the project’s P3M technology platform for proteomics and modified peptides.


This state-of-the-art facility is unique in France and will allow top researchers in parasitology to step up their analysis of the proteome. More specifically, scientists will investigate the complex relationships that exist between parasitic proteins and the proteins of infected patients, and improve our knowledge of how they work. With hundreds of millions of people infected every year, meeting that challenge is now a priority, particularly since parasitic infections remain one of the world’s main causes of morbidity and mortality.

P3M offers new prospects for developing vaccines and drugs to control the growing epidemic. 


High-performance equipment for first-rate expertise
Based at Lille’s Pasteur Institute, P3M offers users cutting-edge technology plus the highly specialized skills needed to analyze parasitic proteomes.
While the technique is not new, this is the only dedicated platform of its kind in France. Even today, proteomes are poorly understood and scientists lack the basic knowledge that would enable them to develop new vaccines and treatments for these parasitic diseases.


A unique platform serving the entire scientific community

Facilities will be available to other LabEx members, as well as research teams working at the Pasteur Institute on cancer, Alzheimer's disease and metabolic diseases, and at the Lille Infection and Immunity Centre. Services offered by the platform can be accessed by researchers in the region, in France and across Europe. Partnerships with industrial firms and private biotechnology companies should speed up the development of new classes of vaccines and drugs.

 Source: Pasteur Institute, Lille

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