French-American workshop in Translational Chemistry

Early July, the University of Bordeaux hosted the 2017 annual workshop of the iREU (international Research Experience for Undergraduates) project.

  • 13/07/2017

This year, 13 American students and their mentors from LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) programs nationwide (Kentucky - West Virginia, Texas, Mississippi, SUNY - State University of New York, California State, Louisiana and Peach State - Virginia), as well as LSU LSAMP students currently completing their internships (in Toulouse, Grenoble and Bordeaux) participated in the annual summer workshop which took place for the first time in Bordeaux.

The overall objective of the workshop was to promote institutional and scientific collaborations across borders with a specific focus this year on industrial outreach thanks to the participation of the major multinational chemical company, Solvay.

During the two-day event, researchers from both LSU and UBx intervened as well as students who presented their research projects using flash presentations and poster sessions. The US Consul in Bordeaux, Daniel Hall, delivered a talk on the vision of the mutual benefits of international scientific collaborations and trade between both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Other invited talks included an overview of the international study programs on offer at the University of Bordeaux, a lecture on how to manage human capital and several other high-level scientific presentations on biosensors and protein-delivery systems (based on gold nanoparticles) and super-resolution optical microscopy in neurons with fluorescent carbon nanotubes.

The topic of interaction between academia and industrial innovation was covered with an explanation of the results of the AMADEus patent study (thanks to the VIA Inno platform which visualizes valorization patterns of academic research), a presentation on career development perspectives and a final speech delivered by Solvay on the world-wide strategy of the group and its vision on how to foster links between academia and industry. The workshop concluded with visits of “beyond state of the art” research facilities on campus (The Laboratory of Future or the ELORPrintTec platform) and individual appointments with researchers to visit their specific labs.

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Developed within the framework of the LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) program from Louisiana State University (LSU), the iREU project is funded by the NSF (National Science Foundation). Each year, 10 to 15 American undergraduate students are selected from the LSU-LSAMP program to participate in the iREU project via an internship in one of the partner universities in Europe. Students must have previous research experience at their home institutions, a strong desire to continue in STEM areas, as well as an outstanding academic profile.

Successful candidates are offered the opportunity to train (3 to 6 months) in a laboratory from one of the following universities: Université de Grenoble Alpes, Université Fédérale de Toulouse, Université de Bordeaux (France) or KU Leuven (Belgium). Projects may cover all aspects of translational chemistry, i.e. from material science to chemical and biochemical engineering, but must have the final goal of translating the research results for clinics (biology) or industry (chemistry).