Profile of Lucie Delemotte: Former ICMS postdoc

Credits work with Dean Klein and research freedom at CST with future success

The mechanisms of life have been a central preoccupation for Lucie Delemotte, who has spent her academic career building on one fundamental stream of research. “I always wanted to know how life worked but I was interested in applying chemistry methods to biology. I develop computational methods to study the ion channels that allow cells to communicate with the outside world,” she says. Delemotte’s primary affiliations are at the Science for Life Laboratory, a government-funded research facility which focuses on molecular biological sciences and, as an assistant professor in computational biophysics, at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. 

Born in France, Delemotte completed her PhD in France at Université Henri Poincaré before coming to Temple University’s College of Science and Technology (CST) as a postdoctoral fellow with Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship funding. She chose Temple on the recommendation of her PhD advisor, who had worked with her postdoc advisor, CST Dean Michael L. Klein, FRS.  “It turned out to be the right time to come to CST, in terms of the investment in the Institute for Computational Molecular Science (ICMS), the seminars and recruitment of incredible faculty. I was also given the freedom to pursue my own work which was critical to my development as an independent scientist.”

After three and a half years at Temple, and a short stay at the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne in Switzerland (EPFL), she moved to Stockholm to her current position. At KTH, with the help of a small team of researchers, she’s applying big data analytics to the work. “That is where everything is going in this field, and we are a part of that effort,” she says. “If we can treat the simulations with these tools, we gain a better understanding of the biological phenomena at play,” she says. An important application for this work is the study of insecticides and the possibility of creating products that act in more specific ways on ion channels and are thus safer for people and wildlife.

A skilled technician, Delemotte is at the frontier of her field in that she’s leveraging new technologies to solve old problems in potentially life changing ways. She’s happy for now in her tenure track position, but she’s also staying attuned to future career options. “Everything is open to me right now,” she says. “I’m not sure where I’ll go next but I love that there is a world full of opportunities.”

-Elisa Ludwig