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Université de Bordeaux
LabEx COTECluster of Excellence
Cluster of excellence

Richard Ortega, CNRS Research Director and co-manager of the UMR CENBG's IPCV team (CNRS, University of Bordeaux 1)

Richard Ortega trained as a chemist and is currently a CNRS Research Director in the UMR CENBG. He has been jointly in charge of the IPCV team which develops analysis, imaging, and irradiation methods using the AIFIRA [1] platform's particle accelerator since 2011. These imaging and irradiation studies are mainly intended to find biological or environmental applications.  This line of research led the IPCV team to become a "LabEx COTE" partner.

[1] Interdisciplinary Applications of ion beams in the Aquitaine Region

Richard trained at the ENSSPICAM (National School of Chemical Synthesis, Processes, and Engineering of Aix-Marseille) and the beginning of this career oscillated between physics and chemistry. After a thesis on nuclear microprobe imaging, Richard Ortega went to Germany for first post-doc on the analysis of trace elements by neutron activation. It was during his second post-doctorate at the Children's Hospital in Toronto that Richard Ortega began to study issues related to metal proteins and molecular biology and the possible applications of his work in life sciences.

Richard Ortega currently co-manages the IPCV group with the biologist, Hervé Seznec. This team studies the interaction of ionising radiation with living elements to develop analysis methods and find biological or environmental applications. "The major challenge is to perform quantitative imaging on a micrometer scale!" he said.

Recent work on the absorption of iodine in algae helped biologists to better understand the storage mechanisms used by these organisms and more generally to better understand the biogeochemical cycle of stable and radioactive iodine. Providing their analysis competencies to other laboratories has helped bring to light new action mechanisms and could even, in this case, "predict the impact of events like Fukushima..."

"The team’s purpose is to develop collaborations and find practical applications for the methods developed" said Richard Ortega. There is a lot of national and international collaborative work in certain CENBG projects. However, for the team manager "the research landscape is changing. It is important to contribute to this and even more so when it’s happening in the region”. This explains their involvement in the "LabEx COTE" project.

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