BALI – Biophysics Analysics and Ligands

The BALI team studies the biophysics of nucleic acid folding and the targeting of peculiar structures (G-quadruplexes, i-motifs, etc.) by small molecule bioactive ligands. The pharmacochemistry group is specialized in ligand synthesis and the mass spectrometry group is specialized in biophysical and analytical techniques. The approaches developed also serve for the characterization of other biomolecular interactions, synthetic supramolecular complexes, or biopharmaceuticals (protein or nucleic acid therapeutics).

Mass spectrometry :

The group is pushing the frontiers of mass spectrometry for new applications to nucleic acids and to the characterization of non-covalent complexes in general.

Theme :

  • Native mass spectrometry: keeping non-covalent complexes intact, stoichiometry determination, quantitation of binding affinities, binding kinetics.
  • Ion mobility spectrometry: fundamentals and structural interpretation, to reveal multiple conformations and determine the shape of each complex.
  • Solution and gas-phase hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) : characterization of interaction sites and advanced biophysical characterization.
  • Solution and gas-phase UV and CD spectroscopy: hydrogen bonding, stacking pattern.
  • Top-down fragmentation (collision-, electron- or laser-induced): new applications in epitranscriptomics and for the characterization of oligonucleotide therapeutics.


The Pharmacochemistry group develops the organic synthesis of new bioactive heterocyclic molecules, which are potential G-quadruplex ligands. One of the main objectives is to conceive, synthesize and evaluate new antiparasitic and anticancer drug candidates.


  • Heterocyclic chemistry
  • G-quadruplex ligands
  • Anticancer and antiparasitic drug synthesis