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PhD student

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR7515-RACBAA-001
Workplace : STRASBOURG
Date of publication : Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Scientific Responsible name : Rachid Baati
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 November 2019
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

For 20 years, terrorist attacks have been multiplied in the Middle East, in Africa and also in North America and in Europe. Indeed 1441 attacks were reported in 2016 causing more than 14000 deaths compared to less than 50 terrorist incidents and 1283 deaths worldwide in 1995 yet sadly famous year for the sarin gas attack in Tokyo subway, the Oklahoma City bombing and the terrorist attack wave in France. Organophosphorus (OP) agents (Figure 1), originally developed as pest control agents but finally also used as chemical warfare agents (CWAs) on the battlefield in armed conflicts, represent a current threat in case of terrorist use.[1] Indeed, OP pesticides are still massively used for agriculture in many countries[2] and consequently they are available for any malicious use. Furthermore, it is established that terrorists actively seek, among others, chemical weapons of mass destruction, and some attacks were perpetrated with OP chemical warfare nerve agents, like Sarin in the Syrian conflict in 2013.[3] Moreover, OP stockpiles disseminated all over the world still represent safety concerns.[1] Furthermore, VX assassination of Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia in 2017[4] and the intoxication of the Skripals with a Novichok agent[5] in 2018 illustrate the dramatic lack of accurate response of medical emergency services to take care of OP-intoxicated victims.Due to the severe limitations of the current medical countermeasures, the search for innovative therapeutic solutions to efficiently/rapidly cure intoxicated individuals, and save their life is highly desired by all governments. As a consequence, our consortium hypothesized that a therapeutic innovation based on the selective and fast scavenging of OPNA by exogenous BChE scavenger, and fast regeneration of its scavenging ability by highly efficient BChE oximes, would represent a breakthrough in this field of research.PseudoScav is a multidisciplinary research project that has the ambition to synergistically take advantage of the different recent progresses made by others and us in the field of OPNA bioscavengers and in the field of cholinesterases reactivators. The PseudoScav project aims at offering not only an original therapy to prevent chronic and acute OPNA poisoning, but also a pre-treatment to protect rescuers and first responders. The objectives of the PhD candidate will be to design, synthesize and evaluate biologically in vitro innovative hybrid reactivators of cholinesterases. This work will be performed in collaboration with biologist and structural biologist.

Work Context

The work will be realized at ICPEES and between collaborating groups, including Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées (IRBA), the Institute de Biologie Structurale of Grenoble (CEA), and the Université of Rouen. Candidates should expect to experience exciting scientific adventures within an interdisciplinary worldwide research environment, at the crossroads of organic and bio-organic chemistry, biology and structural biology.

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