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The agreement for the creation of an International Associated Laboratory (LIA – Laboratoire International Associé) between the laboratory Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques (AFMB) in Marseille, France, and the Palmer Taylor laboratory, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) in La Jolla, California, has been signed by the French institutions, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) and the American institution, University of California San Diego (UCSD), in February-April 2015. This LIA is named Structure-Guided Investigations into Disease States and Therapeutic Strategies (acronym SGIDSTS) and it effectively started January 1st, 2013, for 4 years. It is coordinated on the French side by Pascale Marchot, a CNRS researcher, and on the American side by Palmer Taylor, a UCSD researcher and professor. The activities of the LIA SGIDSTS cover fundamental research in molecular neuropharmacology and structural biochemistry. (See pages 1-2 and page 7.)


INRA has formalized its partnership with the AFMB lab by awarding it a “Unit Under Contract” status (USC 1408 AFMB) for which the agreement has been signed by INRA and by the two institutions to which AFMB is affiliated, CNRS and AMU. This collaborative project, in operation until end of 2017, is aimed at analyzing (meta)genomics, biochemical and structural data on polymerizing or degrading enzymes acting on polysaccharides, with the carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZy) database as a central tool. We plan to elaborate robust pipelines for high-throughput analysis of the content of CAZymes in metadata and to provide access to the AFMB facilities (labeled GIS-IBiSA) for the structural characterization of proteins. Within the scope of the USC, the AFMB lab will benefit from the expertise of INRA scientists in the functional characterization of enzymes and from the access to various INRA technical infrastructure and facilities.

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