Clotilde Policar

Professor, Ecole Normale Supérieure, PSL university
Dean of the sciences education of Ecole Normale Supérieure
President of the international society of bioinorganic chemistry, SBIC

Department of chemistry: 24, rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France
Phone: +33 144322424
Office: E037
Dean of the sciences education at ENS (Direction des études sciences de l’ENS): 45, rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris, France
Office: 45 rue d’Ulm, on the right after the entrance of the main building (E003)

Website of the research group « metals in biology and redox homeostasis » (METROX):
and chemistry/

A recent publication on equity in science (with Charlotte Jacquemot, referent for equity at ENS): The conversation, oct. 2023

Short bio

Clotilde Policar was trained in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, after which she specialized in bio-inorganic chemistry. After completing a Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Mansuy and Dr. Isabelle Artaud at Paris-Sud 11 and Paris 5 universities focused on mimics of a metalloprotein (manganese peroxidase), she worked as a post-doctoral fellow on high-field electron paramagnetic resonance to characterize complexes mimicking the Mn cluster from the oxygen evolving center in the photosystem II with Dr. Sun Un and Dr. William Rutherford. She was then appointed an assistant professor at Paris-Sud 11 (now Paris Saclay), where she dedicated her work to the development of Mn-complexes reproducing the activity of superoxide-dismutase (SOD). The initial focus was the spectroscopic characterization of Mn-OO adducts involved in the catalytic cycle for superoxide dismutation. She became an associate professor in 2005. Because the metalloproteins SODs are involved in the cellular protection against oxidative stress, the next step she took was to study these compounds in cellular models of oxidative stress. Since 2008, she has a professorship at the Ecole Normale Supérieure— University Paris Sciences et Lettres (ENS-PSL), where she has set up a thematic group in bioinorganic chemistry and in inorganic chemical biology. This emerging thematic is dedicated to the direct study of inorganic compounds in biological environments. Her main current interests focus, on the one hand, on the design of manganese-based anti-oxidants and their evaluation in cells, combining characterization of the bio-activity, of the distribution (imaging) and of the speciation directly in cellular environment. And the research group, METROX, has recently been enriched by the expertise of three biologists specializing in redox homeostasis. On the other, her group has initiated a new topic with the development of metal-based probes, including metal–carbonyl as multimodal bioprobes and that they validated as efficient IR-probe for bio-imaging.

Professional experience

  • Short CV and complete publications list on ORCID
  • Since Oct 2022: president of SBIC
    president elect of SBIC
    Since 2020
    : dean of the science education at the Ecole normale supérieure
    2019-2020: responsible of the two-year master programme in Chemistry and Life Science (parcours Chimie et sciences du vivant du master de chimie de Paris Centre)
    Since 2019: elected member of the SBIC council
    2017-2021: member of the editorial board of Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry
    2016-2020: deputy director of the Institut de Chimie du CNRS (DAS, directrice adjointe science) in charge of interdisciplinarity, member of the MITI-CNRS (mission pour les initiatives transverses et l’interdisciplinarité)
    2015-2017: member of the advisory board of Inorganic Chemistry (ACS)
    2015-2020: deputy chair of the FrenchBIC  (French network in BioInorganic Chemistry, network of 25 laboratories)
    2014-2020:  dean at the department of chemistry of ENS, co-responsible for the international relationships
    2014-2023:  deputy director of the Research Unit LBM
    2008: nomination as a professor at the ENS
    2005-2008: associate professor, Paris-Sud 11 university (now Paris Saclay)
    2005 (nov.): habilitation thesis, Paris-Sud 11 university
    1996-2005: assistant professor, Paris-Sud 11 university, Institut de Chimie Moléculaire et des Matériaux d’Orsay (ICMMO)


  • 1995-1996: post-doctoral fellow, CEA, department of cellular and molecular biology, group of William Rutherford and Sun Un (Multifrequency high spin electron paramagnetic resonance (9.5 – 285 GHz), study of Mn(III)-Mn(IV) complexes mimicking the Oxygen Evolving Center of photosystem II).
  • 1992-1995: PhD under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Artaud and Dr. Daniel Mansuy (Chemical modelling of the bimetallic (Fe-Mn) active site of the metalloprotein manganese-peroxidase)
  • 1988-1992: Student in the chemistry department at ENS-Paris Saclay (élève normalienne) and in the master of chemical physics at university Paris-Sud (now Paris Saclay)
  • 1991-1992: Graduate studies (DEA) in bioinorganic chemistry, Paris-Sud 11 university
  • 1990-1991: Agrégation de sciences physiques option chimie (highest diploma to become a high-school teacher, in chemistry and physics)

Research interests

  • Bioinorganic chemistry
  • Inorganic chemical biology
  • Superoxide dismutase mimics (SOD mimics), superoxide, cellular models of oxidative stress, metal-based anti-oxidants
  • Metal-carbonyles as multimodal probes for imaging: IR-spectromicroscopy, micro X-ray fluorescence and classical fluorescence
  • Metals in biology: intracellular detection,  metal imaging, metal distribution, metal speciation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Therapeutic applications of metal-based anti-oxidants

Popularization of her scientific work:
-a recent talk: Inorganic chemistry in cells (conférence Legrain, Pasteur anniversary, January 2023)
-about a recent article:
-about an undergoing project funded by ANR (national research agency):

Awards, distinctions, scientific societies membership, and contracts

  • Co-laureate of the prize of the Gay Lussac Federation of the French Académie des Sciences (2022, for chemistry at the heart of society’s challenges) (Académie des sciences prix 2022) Interview on the ENS website about this prize
  • President elect of SBIC since October 2021.
  • Elected member of the international council of the SBIC in October 2019.
  • Member of the Société chimique de France and of the FrenchBIC.
  • Research contracts since 2008:
    -ANR contracts (National Funding Agency) : two as a PI (CATMAN, 2020-2024 ; MAGIC, 2015-2021) ; five ANR contracts as a partner (METALINFY, co-PI (starting in 2024), MOBIDIC, PI P. Seksik (2022-2026) ; MnHFPELDOR, PI L. Tabares, 2012-2015, Take Care, PI M. Robert, 2011-13 ; Metabact, PI I. Artaud, 2011-13)
    -CEFIPRA contract (France-India collaboration, PI), 2022-2025
    -Qlife initiative: project MAIN (2021-2023) as PI (Mn-Based Antioxidant evaluation in INflammatory Epithelial Cells)
    -Research contract from FRM as PI (Fédération pour la recherche médicale, Appels Pionniers de la recherche Etudes Physico-chimiques innovantes pour la biologie et la médecine- 2016-2020)
    -Research fellowship from the Association François Aupetit (inflammatory bowel disease patients) obtained in 2015
    -Paris-Sciences-Lettres research contract for research structuration (PI, 2014-15; three partners : ESPCI and Institut Curie)
    -Paris-Sciences-Lettres pre-maturation fellowship (PI, 2015)
    -CNRS-contract Interdisciplinary work (interface chemistry-physic-biology), support for risky research (2009)
    -Young researcher grant (ACI jeune chercheur) (2005-08)
    -Since 2008: more than 15 projects selected on synchrotron beamlines (SOLEIL, APS, Aladdin).
  • 1997: first prize “Creation” for the French Ministry of Research for the project Le ticket d’Archimède (posters of popularisation of science in the Parisian Metro), project directed by C. Policar from 1995 to 1998.

Supervised students and post-doctorants

  • Formers (not yet available)
    CONGRATULATION to Sarah Hostachy, for her recruitment as a researcher at CEAEA-Grenoble (Sept. 2020), to Emilie Mathieu, for her CR-CNRS position (since Sept. 2021) in Toulouse, Koudedja Coulibaly, for her recruitment at Air Liquide (Nov. 2021) , Martha Zoumpoulaki for her recrutment at Air-Liquide (Jan 2023) and Jean Bouvet for his admission in the MBA in the Collège des ingénieurs (Jan 24)
  • Current:
    Yaqine Ben Hadj Hammouda, PhD since October 2023, ANR fellowship
    Namita John, PhD since October 2022, ANR fellowship


  • Bioinorganic chemistry: M1 ENS-PSL et M1-M2 chimie et sciences du vivant (PSL university)
  • Metals in biology: M2 master de chimie de Paris Centre (Sorbonne university and Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) university)
  • PSL week 2022 Metallomix: les métaux des étoiles au vivant, co-organized with Nicolas Coltice.
    About the PSL weeks, weeks during which the students of PSL university take courses in other institutions than their own: see
  • History of Sciences: co-organisation of the annual conference day « Journée Bram » with the philosophy departement of ENS

Science popularization: Unusual ways to transmit science

  • (In French) « Les métaux, la vie et la chimiste », Podchem, podcast od SCF (French chemical society), by Maxime Ducreaux, Marc Hennebelle, Titouan Chetot — about metalloenzymes, their mimics, and equity in sciences (NB : science@ensBIC from 2:20 to 24:20 min and interview about equity in science from 47 min to 1h12)
  • (In French) « De la chimie à la chimie du vivant », intervention au « Pasteur le visionnaire » de l’Académie des Sciences, 8 décembre 2022 (‘Louis Pasteur, from chemistry to chemistry of life’)

  • (In French) Scientific theater plays (La Reine Blanche and Compagnie Uni vers)
    • « Pasteur au microscope« , co-written with J. Policar
    • « Les métaux et la vie« , a modular story about metal ions, colors, origin of Life, Homo chemicus and research, performed with Coralie Emilion-Languille

  • (In French) Le ticket d’Archimède: posters of popularization of science, posted in the Parisian metro: initiation (1995) and direction of the project (1995-1998) « Le ticket d’Archimède » at the Centre de Vulgarisation de la Connaissance (Paris-Saclay); we received the « premier prix création » from the French Ministry of Research in 1997.


Five significant publications

Deciphering the metal Speciation in Low-Molecular-Weight Complexes by ion mobility spectroscopy (IMS-MS): application to the detection of manganese superoxide dismutase mimics in cell lysates, Martha Zoumpoulaki, Gabrielle Schanne, Nicolas Delsuc, Hugues Preud’homme, Elodie Quévrain, Nicolas Eskenazi, Géraldine Gazzah, Regis Guillot, Philippe Seksik, Joelle Vinh, Ryszard Lobinski, Clotilde Policar Policar*, Angew. Chemie Int. Ed., e202203066, — hal-03699781

Intracellular location matters: rationalization of the anti-inflammatory activity of a manganese(II) superoxide dismutase mimic complex, Emilie Mathieu, Anne-Sophie Bernard, Elodie Quévrain, Martha Zoumpoulaki, Sébastien Iriart, Caroline Lung-Soong, Barry Lai, Kadda Medjoubi, Lucas Henry, Sounderya Nagarajan, Florent Poyer, Andrea Scheitler, Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović, Sergio Marco, Andrea Somogyi, Philippe Seksik, Nicolas Delsuc, Clotilde Policar, Chem. Commun., 2020, 56, 7885 – 7888,

Graftable SCoMPIs enable the labeling and X-Ray fluorescence imaging of proteins, Sarah Hostachy, Marie Masuda, Takayuki Miki, Itaru Hamachi, Sandrine Sagan, Olivier Lequin, Kadda Medjoubi, Andrea Somogyi, Nicolas Delsuc and Clotilde Policar*, Chem. Sci. 2018, 9, 4483-4487, doi 10.1039/C8SC00886H

Entasis Through Hook-and-Loop Fastening in a Glycoligand with Cumulative Weak Forces Stabilizing CuI, Ludivine Garcia, Federico Cisnetti, Natacha Gillet, Régis Guillot, Magali Aumont-Niciase, Jean-Philip Piquemal, Michel Desmadril, François Lambert, Clotilde Policar*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 1141−1146, DOI: 10.1021/ja510259p

Subcellular Imaging in the Mid-IR of a Metal-Carbonyl Moiety using Photothermal Induced Resonance, Clotilde Policar*, Jenny-Birgitta Waern, Marie-Aude Plamont, Sylvain Clède, Céline Mayet, Rui Prazeres, Jean-Michel Ortega, Anne Vessières, Alexandre Dazzi, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 2011, 50, 860-864; doi : 10.1002/anie.201003161, Highlighted with an inside cover.

Publications (since 2008)

(NB: Complete publications list on ORCID)

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Cellular evaluation of superoxide dismutase mimics as catalytic drugs: Challenges and opportunities Article de journal

Gabrielle Schanne; Sylvie Demignot; Clotilde Policar; Nicolas Delsuc

Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 514 , p. 215906, 2024, ISSN: 0010-8545.

Metal complexes in cells: from design of catalytic antioxidants to imaging metal ions and designing metal-based probes in X-ray fluorescence and IR-imaging, a multidisciplinary collaborative journey in bioinorganic chemistry and inorganic chemical biology Article de journal

Clotilde Policar; Nicolas Delsuc; Hél`ene Charlotte Bertrand

Comptes Rendus. Chimie, 2024, (Online first).


Improvement of Peptidyl Copper Complexes Mimicking Catalase: A Subtle Balance between Thermodynamic Stability and Resistance towards H2O2 Degradation Article de journal

Yaqine Ben Hadj Hammouda; Koudedja Coulibaly; Alimatou Bathily; Magdalene Teoh Sook Han; Clotilde Policar; Nicolas Delsuc

Molecules, 27 (17), 2022, ISSN: 1420-3049.

Deciphering the Metal Speciation in Low-Molecular-Weight Complexes by IMS-MS: Application to the Detection of Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Mimics in Cell Lysates Article de journal

Martha Zoumpoulaki; Gabrielle Schanne; Nicolas Delsuc; Hugues Preud'homme; Elodie Quévrain; Nicolas Eskenazi; Géraldine Gazzah; Regis Guillot; Philippe Seksik; Joelle Vinh; Ryszard Lobinski; Clotilde Policar

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, n/a (n/a), p. e202203066, 2022.

Cellular Detection of a Mitochondria Targeted Brominated Vinyl Triphenylamine Optical Probe (TP−Br) by X-Ray Fluorescence Microscopy Article de journal

Sounderya Nagarajan; Florent Poyer; Laura Fourmois; Delphine Naud-Martin; Kadda Medjoubi; Andrea Somogyi; Gabrielle Schanne; Lucas Henry; Nicolas Delsuc; Clotilde Policar; Helene C Bertrand; Florence Mahuteau-Betzer

Chemistry – A European Journal, 28 (15), p. e202104424, 2022.

SOD mimics: From the tool box of the chemists to cellular studies Article de journal

Clotilde Policar; Jean Bouvet; Hélène C Bertrand; Nicolas Delsuc

Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 67 , p. 102109, 2022, ISSN: 1367-5931.

Inertness of Superoxide Dismutase Mimics Mn(II) Complexes Based on an Open-Chain Ligand, Bioactivity, and Detection in Intestinal Epithelial Cells Article de journal

Gabrielle Schanne; Martha Zoumpoulaki; Géraldine Gazzah; Amandine Vincent; Hugues Preud’homme; Ryszard Lobinski; Sylvie Demignot; Philippe Seksik; Nicolas Delsuc; Clotilde Policar

Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2022 , p. e3858122, 2022, ISSN: 1942-0900, (Publisher: Hindawi).


Evaluation of the compounds commonly known as superoxide dismutase and catalase mimics in cellular models Article de journal

Amandine Vincent; Marion Thauvin; Elodie Quévrain; Emilie Mathieu; Sarah Layani; Philippe Seksik; Ines Batinic-Haberle; Sophie Vriz; Clotilde Policar; Nicolas Delsuc

Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, p. 111431, 2021, ISSN: 0162-0134.

A di-Copper Peptidyl Complex Mimics the Activity of Catalase, a Key Antioxidant Metalloenzyme Article de journal

Koudedja Coulibaly; Marion Thauvin; Adyn Melenbacher; Clara Testard; Evangelina Trigoni; Amandine Vincent; Martin J Stillman; Sophie Vriz; Clotilde Policar; Nicolas Delsuc

Inorganic Chemistry, 60 (13), p. 9309-9319, 2021.

Rhenium carbonyl complexes bearing methylated triphenylphosphonium cations as antibody-free mitochondria trackers for X-ray fluorescence imaging Article de journal

Gabrielle Schanne; Lucas Henry; How Chee Ong; Andrea Somogyi; Kadda Medjoubi; Nicolas Delsuc; Clotilde Policar; Felipe García; Helene C Bertrand

Inorg. Chem. Front., 8 , p. 3905-3915, 2021.


An easy-to-implement combinatorial approach involving an activity-based assay for the discovery of a peptidyl copper complex mimicking superoxide dismutase Article de journal

Amandine Vincent; Jennifer Rodon Fores; Elodie Tauziet; Elodie Quévrain; Ágnes Dancs; Amandine Conte-Daban; Anne-Sophie Bernard; Philippe Pelupessy; Koudedja Coulibaly; Philippe Seksik; Christelle Hureau; Katalin Selmeczi; Clotilde Policar; Nicolas Delsuc

Chem. Commun., 56 , p. 399-402, 2020.

Intracellular location matters: rationalization of the anti-inflammatory activity of a manganese(ii) superoxide dismutase mimic complex Article de journal

Emilie Mathieu; Anne-Sophie Bernard; Elodie Quévrain; Martha Zoumpoulaki; Sébastien Iriart; Caroline Lung-Soong; Barry Lai; Kadda Medjoubi; Lucas Henry; Sounderya Nagarajan; Florent Poyer; Andreas Scheitler; Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović; Sergio Marco; Andrea Somogyi; Philippe Seksik; Nicolas Delsuc; Clotilde Policar

Chem. Commun., p. -, 2020.

Anti-inflammatory activity of superoxide dismutase mimics functionalized with cell-penetrating peptides Article de journal

Emilie Mathieu; Anne-Sophie Bernard; Vincent H Y Ching; Andrea Somogyi; Kadda Medjoubi; Jennifer Rodon Fores; Hélène C Bertrand; Amandine Vincent; Sylvain Trépout; Jean-Luc Guerquin-Kern; Andreas Scheitler; Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović; Philippe Seksik; Nicolas Delsuc; Clotilde Policar

Dalton Trans., 49 , p. 2323-2330, 2020.


Oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy: the preventive effect of a new super-oxide dismutase modulator Article de journal

Marie-Anne Guillaumot; Olivier Cerles; Hélène C Bertrand; Evelyne Benoit; Carole Nicco; Sandrine Chouzenoux; Alain Schmitt; Frédéric Batteux; Clotilde Policar; Romain Coriat

Oncotarget, 10 (60), p. 6418-6431, 2019, ISSN: 1949-2553.


Rhenium tricarbonyl complexes with arenethiolate axial ligands Article de journal

M He; H Y V Ching; C Policar; H C Bertrand

New Journal of Chemistry, 42 (14), p. 11312–11323, 2018.

Macrophage-derived superoxide production and antioxidant response following skeletal muscle injury Article de journal

E Le Moal; G Juban; A S Bernard; T Varga; C Policar; B Chazaud; R Mounier

Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 120 , p. 33–40, 2018.

Clarifying the Copper Coordination Environment in a de Novo Designed Red Copper Protein Article de journal

K J Koebke; L Ruckthong; J L Meagher; E Mathieu; J Harland; A Deb; N Lehnert; C Policar; C Tard; J E Penner-Hahn; J A Stuckey; V L Pecoraro

Inorganic Chemistry, 57 (19), p. 12291–12302, 2018.

Ferrocifens labelled with an infrared rhenium tricarbonyl tag: Synthesis, antiproliferative activity, quantification and nano IR mapping in cancer cells Article de journal

Y Wang; F Heinemann; S Top; A Dazzi; C Policar; L Henry; F Lambert; G Jaouen; M Salmain; A Vessieres

Dalton Transactions, 47 (29), p. 9824–9833, 2018.

Graftable SCoMPIs enable the labeling and X-ray fluorescence imaging of proteins Article de journal

S Hostachy; M Masuda; T Miki; I Hamachi; S Sagan; O Lequin; K Medjoubi; A Somogyi; N Delsuc; C Policar

Chemical Science, 9 (19), p. 4483–4487, 2018.

Labeling of Hyaluronic Acids with a Rhenium-tricarbonyl Tag and Percutaneous Penetration Studied by Multimodal Imaging Article de journal

L Henry; N Delsuc; C Laugel; F Lambert; C Sandt; S Hostachy; A -S Bernard; H C Bertrand; L Grimaud; A Baillet-Guffroy; C Policar

Bioconjugate Chemistry, 29 (4), p. 987–991, 2018.

A Metallo Pro-Drug to Target CuII in the Context of Alzheimer's Disease Article de journal

A Conte-Daban; V Ambike; R Guillot; N Delsuc; C Policar; C Hureau

Chemistry - A European Journal, 24 (20), p. 5095–5099, 2018.


Re(I) carbonyl complexes: Multimodal platforms for inorganic chemical biology Article de journal

S Hostachy; C Policar; N Delsuc

Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 351 , p. 172–188, 2017.

Rhenium Complexes Based on 2-Pyridyl-1,2,3-triazole Ligands: A New Class of CO2 Reduction Catalysts Article de journal

H Y V Ching; X Wang; M He; N Perujo Holland; R Guillot; C Slim; S Griveau; H C Bertrand; C Policar; F Bedioui; M Fontecave

Inorganic Chemistry, 56 (5), p. 2966–2976, 2017.

Synthesis of Homoditopic Ligands with an Incrementable Rodlike Backbone Article de journal

P Demay-Drouhard; L -M Chamoreau; R Guillot; C Policar; H C Bertrand

European Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2017 (1), p. 131–137, 2017.

A Cell-Penetrant Manganese Superoxide Dismutase (MnSOD) Mimic Is Able to Complement MnSOD and Exerts an Antiinflammatory Effect on Cellular and Animal Models of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Article de journal

E Mathieu; A -S Bernard; N Delsuc; E Quévrain; G Gazzah; B Lai; F Chain; P Langella; M Bachelet; J Masliah; P Seksik; C Policar

Inorganic Chemistry, 56 (5), p. 2545–2555, 2017.


The Use of Mn(II) Bound to His-tags as Genetically Encodable Spin-Label for Nanometric Distance Determination in Proteins Article de journal

H Y V Ching; F C Mascali; H C Bertrand; E M Bruch; P Demay-Drouhard; R M Rasia; C Policar; L C Tabares; S Un

Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 7 (6), p. 1072–1076, 2016.

A Bis-Manganese(II)–DOTA Complex for Pulsed Dipolar Spectroscopy Article de journal

P Demay-Drouhard; H Y V Ching; D Akhmetzyanov; R Guillot; L C Tabares; H C Bertrand; C Policar

ChemPhysChem, p. 2066–2078, 2016.

Bimodal X-ray and Infrared Imaging of an Organometallic Derivative of Praziquantel in Schistosoma mansoni Article de journal

S Clède; N Cowan; F Lambert; H C Bertrand; R Rubbiani; M Patra; J Hess; C Sandt; N Trcera; G Gasser; J Keiser; C Policar

ChemBioChem, 17 (11), p. 1004–1007, 2016.

Bioinspired superoxide-dismutase mimics: The effects of functionalization with cationic polyarginine peptides Article de journal

H Y V Ching; I Kenkel; N Delsuc; E Mathieu; I Ivanović-Burmazović; C Policar

Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 160 , p. 172–179, 2016.

Photophysical properties of single core multimodal probe for imaging (SCoMPI) in a membrane model and in cells Article de journal

S Hostachy; J -M Swiecicki; C Sandt; N Delsuc; C Policar

Dalton Transactions, 45 (7), p. 2791–2795, 2016.

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