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Francoise M. Winnik

Satellite PI
MANA Principal Investigator (PI)


  • Nano-bio Field, Satellite Principal Investigator, MANA, NIMS
  • Universite de Montreal
    • Specialty:

      • Functional Nanoparticles and Interfaces
        • Academic degree:

          • Ph.D., University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1979)

Educational & Research History

2011 - Present
Principal Investigator, Satellite Laboratory in Montreal, MANA,NIMS
2000 - Present
Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Chemistry, University of Montreal, Canada
2008 - Present
Executive editor, Langmuir
2001 - 2008
Senior editor, Langmuir, ( American Chemical Society Publication)
2001 - Present
Docent, Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki, Finland
1993 - 2000
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
1981 - 1993
Research Scientist, Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
1979 - 1981
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medical Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Research History

Francoise Winnik was born and educated in France, where she earned a Diplome d'Ingenieur chimiste of the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Mulhouse. She obtained her MSc and PhD in organic chemistry and photochemistry from the University of Toronto. During her post-doctoral studies in medical genetics in the University of Toronto, she was introduced to the fascinating world of cell/cell interactions and, more specifically, the functions of cell-surface carbohydrates. As a research scientist within the Xerox Research Center of Canada, she investigated new materials strategies for xerographic toners and ink-jet inks. Her industrial work converted her to a polymer chemist and led her to design novel polymer-based nanoparticles. When she entered the academic world, she used her industrial training in polymer science to design "intelligent" nanoparticles able to interact with cells. This personal challenge led her to undertake fundamental studies in the chemistry of amphiphilic polymers and their self-assembly in water. Her group has pioneered the applications of microcalorimetry, in particular pressure perturbation calorimetry, and fluorescence techniques in the study of aqueous polymer solutions. Over the last five years, Winnik has carried out several interdisciplinary projects that involve strong collaborations with scientists worldwide in areas ranging from polymer physics and organic/inorganic nanoparticle synthesis to protein chemistry, pharmacology, nanomedicine, cardiology, and medical imaging.

Current projects in Francoise Winnik's group include (i) the design of polysaccharide-based nanocarriers for gene and drug delivery, (2) fundamental studies of the properties of amphiphilic polymers in water; (3) nano-medical applications of films formed by the layer-by-layer assembly of polyelectrolytes, (4) synthesis and characterization of quantum dots and gold nanoparticles for in-vitro and in-vivo imaging; (5) mechanistic investigations of the toxicity of nanoparticles.

Selected Papers

  1. Investigation of the layer-by-layer assembly onto fully functional human red blood cells in suspension for attenuated immune response
    S. Mansouri, Y. Mehri, F. M. Winnik, M. Tabrizian
    Biomacromolecules, 2011, 12, 585-592.
  2. Amphiphilic polyethylenes leading to surfactant-free thermoresponsive nanoparticles
    V. A. Kryuchkov. J. C. Daigle, K. M. Skupov, J. Claverie, F. M. Winnik
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 133 (44), 15573-15579
  3. Microglial response to gold nanoparticles
    E. Hutter, S. Boridy, S. Labrecque, M. Lalancette-Hebert, J. Kriz, F. M. Winnik, D. Maysinger
    ACS Nano, 2010, 4, 2595-2606.
  4. Synthesis of size-tunable polymer-protected gold nanoparticles by femtosecond laser ablation and seed growth
    S. Besner, A. V. Kabashin, F. M. Winnik, M. Meunier
    J. Phys. Chem. C, 2009, 113(22), 9526-9531.
  5. Temperature-Induced Phase Transition of Well-Defined Cyclic Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)s in Aqueous Solution
    X. P. Qiu, F. Tanaka, F. M. Winnik
    Macromolecules, 2007, 40, 7069-7071.
  6. Long-Term Exposure to CdTe Quantum Dots Causes Functional Impairments in Live Cells
    S. J. Cho, D. Maysinger, M. Jain, B. Roeder, S. Hackbarth, F. M. Winnik
    Langmuir, 2007, 23(4), 1974- 1980.
  7. Characterization of folate-chitosan-DNA nanoparticles for gene therapy
    S. Mansouri, Y. Cui, F. M. Winnik, Q. Shi, P. Lavigne, M. Benderdour, E. Beaumont, J. C. Fernandes
    Biomaterials, 2006, 27, 2060-2065.
  8. Impact of end-group association on the thermosensitive properties of hydrophobically modified telechelic poly(N- isopropylacrylamides) in water
    P. Kujawa, F. Segui, S. Shaban, C. Diab, Y. Okada, F. Tanaka, F. M. Winnik
    Macromolecules, 2006, 39, 341-348.
  9. Unmodified cadmium telluride quantum dots induce reactive oxygen species formation leading to multiple organelle damage and cell death
    J. Lovric, S. J. Cho, F. M. Winnik, D., Maysinger
    Chem. Biol., 2005, 12 (11), 1227 -1234.
  10. Delivery platform for hydrophobic drugs: prodrug approach combined with self-assembled multilayers
    B. Thierry, P. Kujawa, C. Tkaczyk, F. M. Winnik, L. Bilodeau, M. Tabrizian
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 1626-1627.