Two women researchers from École Polytechnique receive L’Oréal Awards
Lucile Anthore-Dalion, École Polytechnique graduate and PhD researcher, and Nina Miolane (X 2009), were named among the 30 winners of the "For Women and Science" Awards held on October 12, 2016 by the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO.
Lucile Anthore-Dalion (X2009), PhD researcher at the Organic Synthesis Laboratory (École Polytechnique/ENSTA ParisTech/CNRS); and Nina Miolane, l’X alumnus, PhD graduate of the University of Nice and now postdoctoral researcher at the University of Stanford in the USA, were recognized for the quality and innovative nature of their chosen research subjects
« A more efficient form of chemistry »
The research of Lucile Anthore-Dalion focuses on the development of new free radical reactions of dithiocarbonates, or xanthates, as they are more commonly known. These compounds create carbon-carbon bonds when added to an activated or non-activated alkene. This method makes for an innovative form of chemistry that is highly promising for the future, due to its use of mild reaction conditions, absence of toxic metals, high selectivity and tolerance to many chemical functions.
In the context of her thesis at the Organic Synthesis Laboratory, Lucile Anthore-Dalion has been particularly interested in the applications this method offers for ketone synthesis. A ketone is essentially a major functional group of organic chemistry present in a large number of natural substances, like cortisone or camphor. But, more importantly, it is also used as an intermediate in the synthesis of natural, pharmaceutical, cosmetic or agrochemical products. Many reactions allow for the preparation or modification of ketones, yet certain types are still difficult to obtain, hence the constant need for developing new strategies to synthesize them.
« A virtual human for the medicine of tomorrow »
How can mathematics and advanced technology be used to transform medical research? How do we create digital tools to improve general and hospital medical practice? In her project, Nina Miolane is working on the development of a veritable backbone of future medicine: digital anatomy. A member of the Asclepios project team at Inria Sophia Antipolis of the University of Nice, this PhD graduate is helping to create a model of a digital brain.
Nina Miolane is developing a mathematical theory named "Geometric Statistics" to process medical images (from scanners, MRI machines, etc.) in order to display the human anatomy in digital format, along with its healthy and disease-causing variants. This graduate of École Polytechnique is particularly interested in studying the anatomy of the brain using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This project focuses mainly on the brain, but is broad enough to be applied to imaging of other organs. In the short term, this research will improve our understanding of the human anatomy, while in the long term, comparing the medical images of a healthy patient will allow for the development of digital tools to aid with diagnosis. The research aims to diagnose neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s through the use of medical imaging, before external symptoms even begin to present.