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Theory Days on Advances in Biomolecule Irradiation

Toulouse, Nov 27-29, 2013

par Mai Seve-Dinh - 17 avril 2013

Organizers : J. P. Champeaux, P. M. Dinh, P. Moretto-Capelle, P. Romaniello, and E. Suraud

Aim and objectifs

Following the tradition of the previous successful four meetings (2009-2012), the workshop aims at stimulating constructive discussions, collaborations, and knowledge exchange among a selected group of theoreticians. This year, the workshop will come back to the topic of the very first meeting in 2009, and will be devoted to advances in biomolecule irradiation. Highly elaborate quantum chemical methods allow the mostly static description of large biological molecules possibly in contact with a solvent. On the other hand, effective theories such as Density Functional Theory are now practically available in the time domain and allow to follow explicitly in time both excitation and response of an irradiated system, at least in the case of simple bio-molecules. Finally, phenomenological treatments are also possible at a more macroscopic scale but in turn allow to follow dynamics on long times and at large scales. This is typically the realm of Molecular Dynamics approaches. A key issue is thus to try to establish firm links between such complementing approaches, for example by the joined analysis of intermediate size model systems.

Several initiatives are presently running in Europe to gather the scientific community around the problems of irradiation of biomolecules. The present workshop is dedicated to theoreticians and thus not in competition with these larger scope projects. On the other hand, a successful gathering of the theory community might constitute a valuable support for these projects. A first step in this direction was already achieved late 2007 with the Frejus workshop organized in the framework of the former RADAM Cost P9 program. We now want to pursue the efforts in this direction.

We plan to gather people from various groups working in this domain, mostly in western Europe. The workshop is intended to be a working forum, thus rather informal. The format will consist in a series of long detailed talks, typically 1 hour (40 mn talk + 20 mn for questions) focusing in particular on ongoing problems and open ends. We thus urge participants to prepare their talks in this spirit. Ultimately a most efficient organization would consist in having a limited number of talks per representative group in order to avoid doublings.

Scientific program

Wed Nov 27

14:30-15:30 M. Farizon Irradiation of biomolecules : experiments and challenges
15:30-16:30 P.-G. Reinhard On the way to correlations in electronic dynamics of molecules and clusters
16:30-17:30 R. Casta Electronic emission of radio-sensitizing gold nanoparticles under Xrays irradiation : experiment and simulations

Thu Nov 28

09:00-10:00 M. Beuve Hadrontherapy : from tumor control modeling to quantum ab-initio
10:00-11:00 A. Sobolewski Molecular mechanisms of the photostability of living matter
11:00-12:00 D. Varsano Structural and dielectric effects on the optical properties of biological chromophores
14:15-15:15 N. Ferré Bioluminescence of marine organisms investigated by QM/MM calculations
15:15-16:15 A. Solov’yov Multiscale physics of radiation damage phenomena
16:15-17:15 P. Brousset Monoclonal antibodies : the best tools for studying and treating cancers

Fri Nov 29

09:00-10:00 C. Z. Gao Dynamics of proton collisions with small organic molecules at low energies
10:00-11:00 M.-C. Bacchus Ion-induced charge transfer dynamics in DNA building blocks
11:00-12:00 M.-A. Hervé du Penhoat Modelling of fragmentation processes of biomolecules in swift ion tracks : influence of hydration

Practical aspects

Registration and lodging

We cover lodging, meals, and local transportation during the duration of the workshop (arrival Nov 27, departure Nov 29). The participants should then note that the travel costs will not be covered.

Access to Toulouse


Toulouse airport is connected to major west European airports and hubs (Paris Orly and Roissy Charles de Gaulle, Munich, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam) with regular connections by Air France/KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways for the major companies and also with connections by (Low Cost) Easy Jet. Plane provides by far the simplest access to Toulouse with reasonable fees for sufficiently early booking.

There is a shuttle to downtown (first stop at Compans Caffarelli, on line B of metro) every 20 mn (cost is 5 euros for a one-way combined shuttle/metro ticket, no special fare for a return trip).

As soon as one catches the shuttle, it takes about half an hour to get to the University, thanks to the connection with line B at Compans Caffarelli station.

An alternative access is provided by Carcassone airport (about 45 minutes by car from Toulouse) which has a Low Cost access through Ryanair.

In case of major problem, we shall organize some transfer. It would be useful to know sufficiently in advance such details.


Central station is Toulouse Matabiau connected to line A of the metro and is connected to major French cities.

Directions to the meeting venue

  • Take metro line B, direction Ramonville Saint-Agne
  • Get off at "Universite Paul Sabatier"
  • Exit towards the university
  • Follow the indications of the map below.