Our laboratory

The Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques (AFMB) laboratory, overseen by the CNRS and AMU, is a center of structural biology localized on the Luminy campus in the South of Marseilles, France, and in partnership with INRA under contract. The aim of our researches is to depict the architecture of proteins or macromolecular assemblies at the molecular level to understand the biological mechanisms which they govern. The description of interactions between macromolecules or a macromolecule and a ligand is also crucial to manipulate these complex molecules. Finally, to understand the molecular diversity of members of some protein families, we also analyze the big data issued from large-scale genome sequencing centers.

  • Monday 30th of November at 11am: Franck Molina, lab ’Modélisation et ingénierie des systèmes complexes biologiques pour le diagnostic’ (Sys2Diag, CNRS/ALCEN), Montpellier. ’New generation medical diagnostic: EasyCOV Rapid salivary test COVID / Synthetic biology for biomarkers detection using Biomachines.’

    Abstract (...)

    COVID-19 crisis showed us that research must adapt hit practices to face the pandemics challenges. EasyCOV rapid salivary covid test is an example of such public-private and inter- disciplinary cooperative. Current evolutions in medical practices induce a change of paradigm with the convergence of diagnosis and therapy, going to precision medicine and “theranostics”. One can observe the new role of biomarkers in biomedical and therapeutic applications, for instance in the development of molecular multiplex biosensors (nucleic acid, proteins, and metabolites). In addition, there is an increasing interest for point-of-care (POC) and of home monitoring/testing technologies devoted to probe patient parameters in his direct environment. The obvious constraints for such a kind of new clinical practices are simplification, drastic cost reduction while keeping high performances. Within this context, synthetic biology provides new opportunities to develop a novel generation of biological biosensors able to perform multiplexed biomarkers detection, simple computation and returning simplified relevant results [1]. In order to design robust synthetic biological biosensor systems reliable in a clinical context and based on biochemical circuits, we developed an original methodology ensuring biochemical implementation of logical tasks within nonliving artificial cells. This methodology covers in silico design, simulation, microfluidics production and clinical validation on human samples [2]. It ends up in very simple assay like for instance the new insulin-resistance assay, which is also quick and easy to run out of a laboratory and at low cost. References [1] Courbet A, Renard E, Molina F. Bringing next-generation diagnostics to the clinic through synthetic biology. EMBO Mol Med. 2016;8(9):987-91. [2] Courbet A, Amar P, Fages F, Renard E, Molina F. Computer-aided biochemical programming of synthetic microreactors as diagnostic devices. Mol Syst Biol. 2018;14(6):e8441. * **
    The AFMB seminars are currently webinars - if you are interested in joining one of our webinars, please write to to request the connection link. All seminars.
  • The work of Sonia Longhi and collaborators on intrinsically disordered proteins highlighted by the INSB
  • "The origin of SARS-CoV-2 is being seriously questioned"
    Etienne Decroly discusses the various hypotheses for le journal du CNRS
  • Congratulations to Thi-Tuyet Nhung Le who successfully defended her PhD thesis on Oct-22
  • The Bruno Canard’s team spotlighted for its work on COVID on le journal du CNRS
  • Congratulations to Violla Bassim who successfully defended her PhD thesis on Sept-24
  • The work of Ashleigh Shannon and Bruno Canard’s team spotlighted by the INSB dept of CNRS
  • Priscila El-Kazzi awarded the 2020 silver medal by the "Méditerranée Infection" foundation for her thesis work
Positions Available

AFMB - UMR7257 CNRS - Aix-Marseille Univ. - Case 932
163 Avenue de Luminy 13288 Marseille CEDEX 09 FRANCE

Latest Publications

© AFMB UMR7257  W3C validation