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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RIDME spectroscopy on high-spin Mn2+ centers Article de journal

D Akhmetzyanov; H Y V Ching; V Denysenkov; P Demay-Drouhard; H C Bertrand; L C Tabares; C Policar; T F Prisner; S Un

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 18 (44), p. 30857–30866, 2016.

Monitoring bicosomes containing antioxidants in normal and irradiated skin Article de journal

E Fernández; S Hostachy; C Sandt; G Rodríguez; H C Bertrand; S Clède; M Cócera; A D L Maza; F Lambert; C Policar; O López

RSC Advances, 6 (76), p. 72559–72567, 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.

New insight into the structural, electrochemical and biological aspects of macroacyclic Cu(II) complexes derived from S-substituted dithiocarbazate schiff bases Article de journal

M L Low; L Maigre; M I M Tahir; E R T Tiekink; P Dorlet; R Guillot; T B Ravoof; R Rosli; J -M Pagès; C Policar; N Delsuc; K A Crouse

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 120 , p. 1–12, 2016.


Metal-carbonyl units for vibrational and luminescence imaging: Towards multimodality Article de journal

S Clède; C Policar

Chemistry - A European Journal, 21 (3), p. 942–958, 2015.

An easy-to-detect nona-arginine peptide for epidermal targeting Article de journal

S Clède; N Delsuc; C Laugel; F Lambert; C Sandt; A Baillet-Guffroy; C Policar

Chemical Communications, 51 (13), p. 2687–2689, 2015.

Nanometric distance measurements between Mn(II)DOTA centers Article de journal

H Y Vincent Ching; P Demay-Drouhard; H C Bertrand; C Policar; L C Tabares; S Un

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17 (36), p. 23368–23377, 2015.

Synthesis, characterization and biological activity of Cu(II), Zn(II) and Re(I) complexes derived from S-benzyldithiocarbazate and 3-acetylcoumarin Article de journal

M L Low; G Paulus; P Dorlet; R Guillot; R Rosli; N Delsuc; K A Crouse; C Policar

BioMetals, 28 (3), p. 553–566, 2015.

Fast magnetically driven electrodeposition of amorphous metal oxide water oxidation catalysts from carbon-coated metallic nanoparticles Article de journal

J Zhu; F Lambert; C Policar; F Mavré; B Limoges

Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 3 (31), p. 16190–16197, 2015.

Entasis through Hook-and-Loop fastening in a glycoligand with cumulative weak forces stabilizing CuI Article de journal

L Garcia; F Cisnetti; N Gillet; R Guillot; M Aumont-Nicaise; J -P Piquemal; M Desmadril; F Lambert; C Policar

Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137 (3), p. 1141–1146, 2015.


Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectromicroscopy to identify cell organelles: Correlation with fluorescence staining in MCF-7 breast cancer cells Article de journal

S Clède; C Policar; C Sandt

Applied Spectroscopy, 68 (1), p. 113–117, 2014.

Anti-oxidant Mn-complexes: evaluation in cellular models of oxidative stress Article de journal

Clotilde Policar; Anne-Sophie Bernard; Nicolas Delsuc; Geraldine Gazzah; Manon Guille; Frederic Lemaitre; Christian Amatore; Maria Bachelet; Joelle Masliah

Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 19 , p. S739-S740, 2014, (Times Cited: 0 2 12th European Biological Inorganic Chemistry Conference (EuroBIC) Aug 24-28, 2014 Zurich, SWITZERLAND Univ Zurich).

Influence of the side-chain length on the cellular uptake and the cytotoxicity of rhenium triscarbonyl derivatives: A bimodal infrared and luminescence quantitative study Article de journal

S Clède; F Lambert; R Saint-Fort; M -A Plamont; H Bertrand; A Vessières; C Policar

Chemistry - A European Journal, 20 (28), p. 8714–8722, 2014.

From IR-Spectromicroscopy using AFM-IR and SR-FTIR to Bimodal Spectromicroscopy using SCoMPIs - Single Core Multimodal Probe for Imaging Article de journal

C Policar; C Sylvain; F Lambert; N Delsuc; C Sandt; P Dumas; M Refregiers; M Plamont; A Vessieres; Z Gueroui; A Dazzi

Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 19 , p. S182-S182, 2014, ISSN: 0949-8257.

Luminescence modulations of rhenium tricarbonyl complexes induced by structural variations Article de journal

H C Bertrand; S Clède; R Guillot; F Lambert; C Policar

Inorganic Chemistry, 53 (12), p. 6204–6223, 2014.

Electrochemical formation and reactivity of a manganese peroxo complex: Acid driven Ħ2O2 generation vs. O-O bond cleavage Article de journal

H Y V Ching; E Anxolabéhère-Mallart; H E Colmer; C Costentin; P Dorlet; T A Jackson; C Policar; M Robert

Chemical Science, 5 (6), p. 2304–2310, 2014.

Conjugation of a new series of dithiocarbazate schiff base copper(II) complexes with vectors selected to enhance antibacterial activity Article de journal

M L Low; L Maigre; P Dorlet; R Guillot; J -M Pagès; K A Crouse; C Policar; N Delsuc

Bioconjugate Chemistry, 25 (12), p. 2269–2284, 2014.

Apo-neocarzinostatin: A protein carrier for Cu(II) glycocomplexes and Cu(II) into U937 and HT29 cell lines Article de journal

L Garcia; S Franzoni; F Mussi; M Aumont-Niçaise; H Bertrand; M Desmadril; G Pelosi; A Buschini; C Policar

Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 135 , p. 40–44, 2014.


Synchrotron radiation FTIR detection of a metal-carbonyl tamoxifen analog. Correlation with luminescence microscopy to study its subcellular distribution Article de journal

S Clède; F Lambert; C Sandt; Z Gueroui; N Delsuc; P Dumas; A Vessières; C Policar

Biotechnology Advances, 31 (3), p. 393–395, 2013.

Polypyrrole functionalized with new copper complex as platform for His-tag antibody immobilization and direct antigen detection Article de journal

S Chebil; A Miodek; V Ambike; H Sauriat-Dorizon; C Policar; H Korri-Youssoufi

Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical, 185 , p. 762–770, 2013.

Toward optimal spatial and spectral quality in widefield infrared spectromicroscopy of IR labelled single cells Article de journal

E C Mattson; M Unger; S Clède; F Lambert; C Policar; A Imtiaz; R D'Souza; C J Hirschmugl

Analyst, 138 (19), p. 5610–5618, 2013.

Detection of an estrogen derivative in two breast cancer cell lines using a single core multimodal probe for imaging (SCoMPI) imaged by a panel of luminescent and vibrational techniques Article de journal

S Clède; F Lambert; C Sandt; S Kascakova; M Unger; E Harté; M -A Plamont; R Saint-Fort; A Deniset-Besseau; Z Gueroui; C Hirschmugl; S Lecomte; A Dazzi; A Vessières; C Policar

Analyst, 138 (19), p. 5627–5638, 2013.

An intrinsically fluorescent glycoligand for direct imaging of ligand trafficking in artificial and living cell systems Article de journal

L Garcia; M Lazzaretti; A Diguet; F Mussi; F Bisceglie; J Xie; G Pelosi; A Buschini; D Baigl; C Policar

New Journal of Chemistry, 37 (10), p. 3030–3034, 2013.


Evaluation of the anti-oxidant properties of a SOD-mimic Mn-complex in activated macrophages Article de journal

Anne-Sophie Bernard; Claire Giroud; Vincent H Y Ching; Anne Meunier; Vinita Ambike; Christian Amatore; Manon Guille-Collignon; Frederic Lemaitre; Clotilde Policar

Dalton Transactions, 41 (21), p. 6399-6403, 2012, (Times Cited: 23).

Glycosiderophores: Synthesis of tris-hydroxamate siderophores based on a galactose or glycero central scaffold, Fe(III) complexation studies Article de journal

C Neff; F Bellot; J -B Waern; F Lambert; J Brandel; G Serratrice; F Gaboriau; C Policar

Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 112 , p. 59–67, 2012.

A rhenium tris-carbonyl derivative as a single core multimodal probe for imaging (SCoMPI) combining infrared and luminescent properties Article de journal

S Clède; F Lambert; C Sandt; Z Gueroui; M Réfrégiers; M -A Plamont; P Dumas; A Vessières; C Policar

Chemical Communications, 48 (62), p. 7729–7731, 2012.

Metal complexation of a Đ -ribose-based ligand decoded by experimental and theoretical studies Article de journal

F Cisnetti; J -D Maréchal; M Nicaise; R Guillot; M Desmadril; F Lambert; C Policar

European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, (20), p. 3308–3319, 2012.

Recent analytical applications of molecular spectroscopy in bioorganometallic chemistrypart I: Metal carbonyls Article de journal

I S Butler; R P Kengne-Momo; G Jaouen; C Policar; A Vessières

Applied Spectroscopy Reviews, 47 (7), p. 531–549, 2012.

Recent applications of molecular spectroscopy in bioorganometallic chemistry-Part 2: Ferrocenes and other organometallic complexes Article de journal

I S Butler; R P Kengne-Momo; A Vessières; G Jaouen; C Policar

Applied Spectroscopy Reviews, 47 (8), p. 620–632, 2012.


Proton-coupled electron transfers in biomimetic water bound metal complexes. the electrochemical approach Article de journal

E Anxolabéhère-Mallart; C Costentin; C Policar; M Robert; J -M Savéant; A -L Teillout

Faraday Discussions, 148 , p. 83–95, 2011.

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