PhD, Research Director

Head of “Osteoarticular and Dental Regenerative NanoMedicine” team




Dr. Nadia Jessel is Research Director and head of the “ Osteoarticular and Dental regenerative Nanomedicine” laboratory at INSERM (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research), UMR 1109, Strasbourg, France. She was leader of “Active Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering” team INSERM 977 until december 2012. She received her Ph.D. from University Louis Pasteur, ULP, Strasbourg, France for the work on Development of pseudopeptides as synthetic vaccines. Dr. Jessel (Benkirane) then held a postdoctoral position in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, working on Immunotherapy HIV, and another postdoctoral position on the application of modified peptides as vaccines against FMDV (Plum Island Animal Disease Center, ARS, USDA, Greenport, NY 11944-0848, USA). She joined the INSERM U595 in 2002 as a post-doc, and received the diploma to direct the research (HDR) in 2004. Dr. Jessel got the permanent position (CR1) in the INSERM 595 laboratory in 2004 and currently Research Director (DR1) in the INSERM UMR 1109 (Osteoarticular and Dental Regenerative Nanomedicine” and heads the team. Dr. Jessel possesses expertise in diverse fields of molecular and cellular biology, immunochemistry, tissue engineering and biomedical engineering. In the last 10 years, she focused her research on the bio-functionalization of multilayered polyelectrolyte architectures with emphasis on the use of these architectures to induce specific cellular responses and gain control over cell proliferation and differentiation. Dr. Benkirane-Jessel have 138 publications (h index: 36), and she is a co-author of 60 peer-reviewed publications in high impact factor journals (Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA; Adv. Mater.; Adv. Funct. Mater.; Small; Nanoletters, Biomaterials, ACS Nano), 5 chapters reviews and 5 international patents, she is a regular referee for a number of scientific journals (Nature nanotechnology, Nature Materials, ACS nano, Biomaterials, Nanoletters…). She is under the contract (Interface INSERM/Clinic) and she got also (Prime d’Excellence Scientifique from the INSERM.

Scientific summary

Recently, tissue engineering has merged with stem cell technology with interest to develop new sources of transplantable nanostructured and “living” material for injury or disease treatment. Eminently interesting, are bone and joint injuries disorders because of the low self-regenerating capacity of the matrix secreting cells.

In recent years, considerable effort has been devoted to the design and controlled fabrication of nanostructured materials with functional properties. The nanstructured films from oppositely charged polymers offer new opportunities for the preparation of functionalized biomaterial coatings. This technique allows the preparation of supramolecular nano-architectures exhibiting specific properties in terms of control of cell activation and may also play a role in the development of local drug/gene delivery systems. Peptides, proteins, drugs or DNA, chemically bound to polypeptides or Cyclodextrins (CDs), adsorbed or embedded in nanostructured films, have been shown to retain their biological activities. Recently, we have demonstrated the sequential induction of nuclear and /or cytoplasmic expression products, mediated by β-cyclodextrin embedded in a nanostructured films. We have also reported that embedded BMP-2 and TGFβ1 in a nanostrutured film can drive stem cells to bone or cartilage differentiation depending on supplementary co-factors. Our results demonstrate clearly that we are able to induce osteogenesis in embryonic stem cells mediated by growth factors embedded into the nanostructured films on a planar surface or as a nanostructured capsules for bone induction in vivo. We have also reported that we are able to induce dental pulp regeneration by using an active nanostructured gel based on alpha-melanocortin (alpha-MSH) active peptide.

In the last 5 years, we focused our research on the functionalization of biomaterials for bone and cartilage regeneration. We have  an interest on the prevention of bone metastasis and the design of the new generation of “living materials” for clinical applications. We have as well an interest on Regenerative Nanomedicine.

Scientific topics:

  • Material Science
  • Nanomedicine
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Tissue Engineering


  • Active living Biomaterials
  • Osteo-Articular Systems
  • Bone-tooth unit regeneration


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