Nicolas Lebesgue


Name: Nicolas Lebesgue
Nationality: French

Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Group
Department of chemistry / Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular research
Utrecht University, Padualaan 8
3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands

Contact details:
Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Group
Z605, H.R. Kruytgebouw
Utrecht University, Padualaan 8
3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Tel: (+31) 30 253 9403


Nicolas Lebesgue was born in 1985 in Beauvais, France. After obtaining his bachelor in molecular life sciences in Amiens, Nicolas started a master in genomics and proteomics at the University of Lille, France. His first master internship at Genethon (Evry, France) was focused on the identification of proteins interacting with AAV vectors under the supervision of Dr. Fedor Svinartchouk. It inspired him to persue his master in Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry in Lille. He was involved during 6 months at the Proteomic Platform at Necker Hospital (Paris, France) to characterize the acetylome of pancreatic beta cells by LC-MS/MS under the supervision of Dr. Chiara Guerrera. It allowed him to obtain his master degree in 2011.

He joined the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics group in Utrecht University since February 2012 and is involved in the European SPHINGONET Program. His PhD project under the supervison of Prof. Dr. Albert J.R. Heck and Dr. Arjen Scholten is to investigate the unexplored convergence of lipid and phosphorylation mediated signaling pathways by both targeted and global phosphoproteomics.

Project title: Cross-talk between sphingolipid metabolism and phosphoprotein signaling pathways

Project summary:

This project will investigate the unexplored convergence of lipid and phosphorylation mediated signaling by both targeted and global phosphoproteomics. Initial goal is to meticulously identify phosphorylation events occurring on several crucial sphingolipid signaling hubs in yeast. Quantitative phosphoproteomics will be performed by an optimized shot-gun proteomics strategy using Ti4+-IMAC phosphopeptide enrichment tool to introduce a novel, rapid and in-depth phosphoscreening under different sphingolipid conditions in yeast.

Knock out strains will subsequently be screened to identify responsible kinases and phosphatase involved in the regulation of sphingolipid metabolism signaling pathways in collaboration with the Riezman lab.

In a mouse model of NPC disease, global phosphoproteomics screens will be performed. First in a cell model where U18666A treated cells will be quantitatively compared with untreated cells. In addition, tissues of NPC1 knock-out mice will be quantitatively compared to wild-type mice. Specific findings from these models will be followed up in patient material of NPC disease.


Albert  Heck & Arjen Scholten (Utrecht University, The Nettherlands)
Howard Riezman (Université de Geneve, Switzerland)

Biosketch 1st scientific supervisor:

Prof. dr. Albert J. R. Heck (1964) is Head of the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics group since September 1998. He holds the chair of Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics, a position jointly funded by the Departments of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences. His major interest is in protein mass spectrometry. The general theme of the research in his group is to develop and implement innovative mass spectrometric methods for the more efficient and detailed characterization of protein and other biomolecules in relation to their biological function. The emphasis is on the structural and functional characterization of proteins and their post-translational modifications as well as on the investigation of protein interaction networks, protein complexes important in e.g. protein folding, protein ligand binding, and the formation of tertiary and quaternary structures.

Albert Heck is scientific director of the Netherlands Proteomics Centre (since 2003).  He is member of the council of the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) and was chairman of the HUPO Conference in Amsterdam in 2008. In 2001 he was recipient of the Golden Medal of the Dutch Royal Chemical Society. In 2004 he received an honoree Utrecht University “ABC”-professorship. In 2006 he received the Descartes-Huygens award from the French Academy of Sciences and in 2010 the ”Massenspektrometrie in den Biowissenschaften Preis” from the German Society for Mass Spectrometry. In 2010 he was for 6 months awarded a visiting professorship at the ETH in Zurich. In 2013, he received the HUPO discovery award in proteomic sciences. He has currently published more than 350 papers in internationally reviewed journals.