Interview: Yann Rufin
The BioProt platform (Biochemistry and Biophysics of Proteins) is the only one under the supervision of the Bordeaux Neurocampus department. Labeled “Plateforme de recherche de l’université de Bordeaux”, it is located in the premises of the Neurocentre Magendie. We met Yann Rufin, engineer, who has been working on the platform since 2018.
Bordeaux Neurocampus: Can you introduce us to the platform?
Yann Rufin : The BioProt platform brings together a set of equipment essential for the biochemical and biophysical characterization of proteins. It is specialized in the production and purification of proteins and the analysis of biomolecular interactions. It offers various services in these fields, in addition to assistance and advice for the implementation and optimization of protocols.
The platform also provides users with high-performance equipment in terms of sample preparation, analysis and detection. For this purpose, we have equipment grouped into four categories: production and purification, centrifuges, analytical techniques and biomolecular interactions.
If needed, we can also, for example, advise and intervene in the purchase of consumables used on the platform (fluorescent antibodies, centrifuge tubes, cards for direct-detect…).
Are there any changes to be expected?
Yes, we are going to acquire an ÄKTA PURE 25L partly financed by LabEx BRAIN, which will allow us to widen the range of our services and to offer a better quality of service!
I would also like to develop the use of the IPA (Ingenuity Pathway Analysis) software, which we have on the platform and which, like any service, is subject to reservation, training and rental. It is an application that allows, in particular, searches for protein interactions from bibliographic databases.
Are you addressing both internal and external audiences?
Indeed! Of course our main audience remains the staff of Bordeaux Neurocampus, but any public laboratory or private company can use our services. However, the use of the instruments requires prior training!
We are open to all needs, whether they are regular or occasional: protein injections, sedimentation… We go beyond the field of biology with, for example, the analysis of nano-particle sedimentation.
Our rates remain very competitive and advantageous for our different publics. Do not hesitate to ask for more information, because we can welcome new users!
What are the steps to have a service provided by the platform?
I would say that it is quite simple and classic: the person contacts one of us, specifying his needs and we send him a quote that has been validated by the platform managers. If the client agrees, we define with him the schedule for the realization of the service.
Once the service has been established, the client recovers his samples, the raw data and the analysis report, in which we provide all the necessary information: protocol followed, purification reports, chromatograms, conclusion… We also guarantee the confidentiality of the results.
Payment can be made on an annual basis, or for each service, it is up to you.
Let’s talk about you: what are your missions on the platform?
I am in charge of all the services described above: training, user support for the development of their protocol, analysis, monitoring, advice … and also, depending on the case, maintenance and upkeep of the equipment. On the consulting side, in case of problems or specific questions, this can simply be referred to the manufacturers. It’s very complete, I really like this work.
We are a small team: Nathalie Sans is in charge of the platform and Mathieu Sainlos is co-responsible. As we are a platform of the department, it is Jennifer Annette, the manager of Bordeaux Neurocampus, who accompanies me on the orders, invoices and all the administrative aspect.
Let’s finish with your background, to inform those who want to work in this field. What training has enabled you to enter this position?
I have a baccalauréat STL (Sciences et Technologies de Laboratoire), which really made me love biochemistry and organic chemistry. I then did a first year in medicine, which was an opportunity to discover the medical aspect and especially to go into biology.
Then I branched off towards a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and biotechnology and then I did an Master in structural and functional biology in Toulouse. It was a Research Master that allowed me to see all the biophysical and biochemical techniques to characterize a protein. During my internship I learned to put into practice my theoretical knowledge of protein purification while learning the techniques of protein crystallization.
However, I chose not to do a thesis because the work of an engineer suits me better. Before being on the platform, I worked, already as an engineer, in a biochemistry and structural biophysics team at the Institut Curie in Paris. It is there that I really improved my skills in protein crystallography, production, purification…
About the platform : www.u-bordeaux.fr
LinkedIn Yann Rufin’s profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/yann-rufin-a15a77a7/