Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire

SFBBM - Dina Surdin Prize 2020

Florent Waltz Florent WALTZ, 27, studied molecular biology at the University of Strasbourg, applied to plant biology. During his PhD, carried out at the University of Strasbourg in Philippe GIEGE's team, he was mainly interested in gene expression in mitochondria, with a particular interest in mitochondrial ribosomes, the latter being particularly divergent from cytosolic ribosomes and prokaryotic ribosomes.

After the biochemical characterization of the higher-plant mitoribosome carried out in his thesis, revealing the presence of numerous protein and RNA components until then unknown, he continued his post-doctoral work by training in electron cryo-microscopy. He first focused his work on the high-resolution structural study of the plant mitoribosomes in Yaser HASHEM's team, which contributed to elucidate the role of the specific components of this mitoribosome, initially identified during his thesis. He also worked on the characterization of the mitoribosomes of the human parasites, Leishmania tarentolae and Trypanosoma cruzi, showing the great structural divergence of mitoribosomes between eukaryotes. Following this work, he was interested in plant mitochondrial respiratory Complex I, for which he obtained the first high-resolution structure of the mature complex as well as one of its assembly intermediate. His work contributes to highlight the great divergence in structure and composition of mitochondrial complexes.