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PhD position : Functional Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles with Elastin-Like Peptide Segments (H/F)

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR5629-SEVSAI-004
Workplace : PESSAC
Date of publication : Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Sébastien LECOMMANDOUX
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

This proposal combines the innovative work of the LCPO's team (http://www.lcpo.fr) on elastin-like polypeptides (ELP) with the experience of the UChicago team (https://pme.uchicago.edu) on polyelectrolyte complexation of nucleic acids with the eventual goal to create new delivery vehicles for nucleotide therapeutics.
The PhD student recruited will work in the Lecommandoux's research group (https://www.lcpo.fr/team-3-polymer-self-assembly-life-sciences/), in strong collaboration with Prof. Matt Tirrell's lab (https://pme.uchicago.edu/group/tirrell-lab), each having strong track records in different aspects of self-assembly of functional materials. Each team also brings distinctive capabilities to the proposed project, for example, materials synthesis in Bordeaux, access to synchrotron x-ray scattering in Chicago. There is a good balance of overlap and complementarity. The project will begin by examining the temperature sensitivity of these objects enabled by the inclusion of ELP components. The second part of the project will examine specifically the packaging of nucleic acids. Altogether, this project combines innovative thermosensitive polyelectrolytes based on ELP-b-polypeptide copolymers, leading to a new generation of nanomedicines with pH and T-responsiveness and possibly to a smart mechanism of delivery of charged biomacromolecules by physical inversion.

Work Context

The Laboratory of Chemistry of Organic Polymers (LCPO) is a joint research unit affiliated to the CNRS, the University of Bordeaux and the Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux (http://www.lcpo.fr). The LCPO is organized into 4 research teams with a total strength of nearly 150 people, including about 50 permanent staff.

With over 30 years of expertise in polymer chemistry, researches at LCPO aim at:
- developing innovative methodologies for precision synthesis of polymers, using in particular biomimetic and/or green chemistry pathways
- designing functional polymer materials by macromolecular engineering and self-assembly, in the fields of renewable materials, health and energy
- establishing strong links with the socio-economy world.

The work of the recruited agent will be carried out in team 3 of the LCPO in collaboration with Prof. Matt Tirrell's lab (UChicago).

Team 3 entitled "Self-assembly of Polymers and Life Sciences" is headed by Sébastien Lecommandoux. The team explores the design biomimetic and biofuntional nano and microparticles, especially polymersomes, with the following main focus:
- synthesis and self-assembly of block copolymers based on polypeptides, polysaccharides and proteins
- formulation of functional nanoparticles, including polymersomes, for the targeted delivery and controlled release of active ingredients (therapy and theranostic)
- design of artificial cells (protocells) as membrane models and biological factory.

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