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Reference : UMR7247-LUCPEL-003
Workplace : NOUZILLY
Date of publication : Thursday, March 25, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Lucie Pellissier
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
Inside brain circuits, upon stimulation, neurons communicate through neurotransmitter release from the pre-synaptic axon terminals to their cognate receptors located at the post-synaptic dendritic spines. Receptor activation triggers long-term post-synaptic plasticity, requiring de novo messenger RNA transcription and transport to the dendrites and local mRNA translation. Studies in patients and animal models suffering from social interaction deficits (Autism Spectrum disorders) have highlighted common global dysregulation in synaptic transmission and plasticity. We hypothesized that one of the synaptic plasticity marker could be a molecular substrate underlying these dysfunctions. Recently, it has been shown that it could exert transport of mRNAs upon stimulation. The objectives of the PhD project are: 1) study the effect of different social stimuli on its regulation in WT and mouse models of social interaction deficits, 2) modulate its activity to decipher its involvement on social behaviours (development of antibody fragment), 3) perform proof-of-concept studies of its use.
The PhD student will use multidisciplinary approaches, including molecular biology, cell biology, virology, antibody fragment display, behavioral and gene therapy studies. During the PhD, three research articles as first author, cooperative articles, reviews and eventually a patent are expected. The PhD project will benefit from financial and material support of our Joint Research Unit, our team, the ERC starting grant (2020-2025) and the Laboratory of Excellence MAbImprove on therapeutic antibodies.
The PhD student will be appointed by the CNRS, one of the most well-established French multidisciplinary research institute in the World. Our unit “Physiology of reproduction and Behavior” is a joint research unit between the CNRS, INRAE, the University of Tours and IFCE, located in the Loire Valley. Our research center is unique as we can study social behaviour in rodents to big farm animals. The PhD student will integrate our pluridisciplinary “System biology of signaling” (BIOS) team, under the supervision of the PI of the ERC THERAUTISM project and co-team leader. Our team studies G protein coupled receptor signaling using mathematical modelling, antibody fragment, innovative pharmacology, from molecular and cellular biology to animal models. In addition, this PhD project belongs to one of the key research question of the Laboratory of Excellence (Labex) MAbImprove (http://mabimprove.univ-tours.fr) on the development of therapeutic antibodies in Tours and Montpellier. The PhD project, which is co-financed by the Labex, will benefit of the expertise and fruitful collaborations of the 28 teams and PhD formations from the Labex.
The PhD student will belong to the “school for PhDs” « Health, Biological Sciences and Chemistry of the life» (SSBCV, https://collegedoctoral-cvl.fr) of the University of Tours, for PhD formations and degree.
Constraints and risks
Short-term stay in France and abroad are expected during the employment.
The applicant must have a Master degree (or equivalent) in biology. Strong knowledge in cellular biology and/or Neurosciences is required, with excellent oral and writing skills in English (mandatory) to present in national and international meetings and write research articles in reviewed scientific journals. Knowledge in molecular biology, antibody display, virology or immunology would be advantageous.
We are seeking for a dynamic person who will be able to fully commit in his PhD project, propose new ideas, be curious, with a critical mind, autonomous and would be willing to learn new skills.
To apply for the position, please provide a detailed resume (university, formations, skills, internships, the name of two references), a motivation letter (one page), and a summary of your last or relevant internship project (one page) and grades of the Master (or equivalent).
The deadline to apply is May 15th of 2021, followed by interviews end of May. The PhD position will start in October 2021.
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