CNRS-University of Illinois Associated International Laboratory
Context.In response to a continuously growing demand from the biological community of tools capable of describing on the atomic scale the complex processes of the cell machinery, we propose to establish a bridge between the Centre National de la Recheche Scientifique and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the form of an Associated International Laboratory. The French consortium is formed by scientists from theoretical and physical chemistry, biology, biophysics and applied mathematics. The American partner is the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. The objectives of the proposed endeavor are twofold. From a methodological standpoint - Gather in a consortium of excellence the scienti c expertise that will allow the current limitations of numerical simulations to be surpassed, developing in particular novel approaches for preferential sampling, free-energy calculations and transition-path sampling. From an applicative standpoint - Tackle in synergy with experimentalists and using the latter methodology challenging biological problems, chief amongst which are photosynthesis and hepatitis C virus replication. The proposed Associated International Laboratory is envisioned to confer developments in mathematics and theoretical chemistry and biophysics an international resonance through their implementation in the widely used molecular dynamics code of the American partner. It will also provide a unique opportunity for the biologists of the consortium to interact with the American institution in a formal framework.

Partners of the Associated International Laboratory. The Associated International Laboratory established between the CNRS and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign includes mathematicians, physicists, theoretical chemists, computer scientists, biophysicsts and biologists. They are uniting their fields of expertise to address grand challenges in biology and biophysics by means of high-performance numerical simulations.

Launching of the Associated International Laboratory. The joint venture of the CNRS and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign started on January 1, 2013. The institutional launching of the Associated International Laboratory, however, took place on November 5 and 6, 2012, under the auspices of the Université de Lorraine and with representatives of the CNRS and University of Illinois. Renewal of the international joint venture was approved by the CNRS on November 2016.
Launch  Launch2
Launching of the LIA, November 2012.  From left to right, Frédéric Legoll, Clotilde Boulanger (UL vice chancelor), Erwan Faou, Emad Tajkhorshid, Gabriel Stoltz, Chris Chipot, Klaus Schulten, Franc Pattus (CNRS life sciences), Anja Böckmann, François Dehez, Jean-Pierre Thomesse (regional director science and technology), Karl Tombre (UL international affairs) and François Penin. Presentation of the LIA to the press, November 2012. Chris Chipot and Klaus Schulten.



Communication. Christophe Choserot, vice-chairman of the Lorraine Region, commenting on the LIA to the national public radio, France Bleue, November 7, 2012.

Recent publications

Free Energy Methods for the Description of Molecular Processes
Christophe Chipot;
Annual Review of Biophysics (2023) 52 (1):
A Practical Guide to Recent Advances in Multiscale Modeling and Simulation of BiomoleculesEnhanced Sampling Based on Collective Variables
Yong Wang; Ruhong Zhou; Haohao Fu; Wensheng Cai; Christophe Chipot; Xueguang Shao; (2023) 1-22
Chasing collective variables using temporal data-driven strategies
Haochuan Chen; Christophe Chipot;
QRB Discovery (2023) 413 (242-


- Renewal of the Laboratoire International Associé CNRS-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on January 2021
- 新的分子动力学讲义 (Dissemination).
- Kudos to Margaret Blazhynska and Emma Goulard Coderc de Lacam on their DrEAM fellowship supporting their training in the Tajkhorshid and Gumbart research groups.


Laboratoire International Associé
Unité mixte de recherche n°7019
Université de Lorraine, B.P. 70239
54506 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France
Phone: +33(0)3 72 74 50 75
How to reach us