RNA & cancer

CARe’s upcoming workshop will be held on Friday, May 12th, 2023, at the IUCT-Oncopole in Toulouse. National and international specialists, as well as CARe PhD students, will analyze the links between ribonucleic acid and cancer.

PhD offer at the Toulouse Institute of Pharmacology and Structure Biology

The Ph.D. student will be enrolled in the CARe program.

Deadline for application: April 25th 2023

Starting date: September/October 2023

Working Place

The IPBS (Institute of Pharmacology and Structure Biology) is a joint research unit of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and the University of Toulouse. IPBS is located in Toulouse, a vibrant city in the south of France. The IPBS hosts about 250 scientific and administrative staff, including Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows of multiple nationalities. IPBS comprises 18 research teams, and the work carried out at the institute is dedicated to the discovery of new therapeutic targets in the fields of cancer, infectious diseases, and inflammatory diseases (https://www.ipbs.fr/). The selected Ph.D. candidate will work in the research team “Epigenetic Mechanisms in Cancer,” led by Priyanka Sharma at the IPBS, Toulouse. The candidate will be supported by a short training in the laboratory of molecular biophysics directed by X. Salvatella at the Biomedical Research Institute (IRB), Barcelona, Spain.

Technical methods

  • Single-cell RNA transcriptomics.
  • Live cell imaging and machine learning tools for analysis.
  • Biophysical characterization of transcriptional condensates.
  • Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays.

Expected Profile

Highly motivated and dynamic Ph.D. candidate with great communication skills and a strong interest in unraveling epigenetic mechanisms using multidisciplinary approaches.

Interested candidates, please contact at priyanka.sharma@ipbs.fr for further information.

Open position for a PhD in organic chemistry toward in vivo imaging

The Fundamental and Applied Heterochemistry Laboratory (LHFA), Toulouse, France and the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, are currently looking for candidates to enter a 3-year PhD program within the CARe Graduate School.

The successful candidate will be hired in a multicenter research program between Toulouse and Copenhagen bringing together chemists, radiochemists and biologists. The transdisciplinary research project targets the development and application of innovative chemical and biochemical tools for in vivo imaging of metabolic activity in the context of age-related diseases. The key idea is to combine easy-to-handle fluorescent or radioactive probes with biological vectors in a highly modular fashion. It will consist in the organic synthesis of both targeting and recognition units, as well as their bioconjugation in vitro or in vivo for further biological investigations.

The expected background of the successful candidate will be rooted in organic synthesis (connection to biological investigations would also be welcome). A sound knowledge of main group chemistry would also be beneficial. A strong ability to adapt to different research fields will also be of paramount importance. Although mainly based in Toulouse (France), the PhD training will partly take place in Copenhagen (at least 3 to 6 months).

Applications of students from all origins and of all genders nearly completing their master degree are strongly encouraged.

Deadline for submission: 28th of April, 2023.

Further information can be requested from: emmanuel.gras@univ-tlse3.fr

A PhD position is open at Infinity to work on T-Follicular Regulatory cell heterogeneity in defective Ageing humoral response

The PhD student will be enrolled in the CARe program.

Deadline for application:  April 15th 2023

Starting date: September/October 2023

Working context:

Infinity (Toulouse Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Disease) is joint research unit of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and the University of Toulouse. Infinity is a dynamic research institute comprised of 14 teams about 300 people and is located in Toulouse, a lively and fast-growing city in the Southwest of France with the 2nd largest student population. Within Infinity, the PhD candidate will work in the research team “Antigen Presenting Cells in T cell responses” led by Nicolas Fazilleau. This project is in close collaboration with ImmunXperts, a Q² Solutions company, localized at Gosselies (Belgium). During the PhD program, an internship of several months will be performed in this biotech company.

Working project:

The PhD candidate will study the development and biological roles of the human Tfr pool during physiological and ageing humoral responses.

Germinal centers (GCs) are the lifeblood of protective humoral immunity, require complex regulation that can decline with time, increasing vulnerability to infectious diseases and limiting vaccination benefits of elderly population. The integrity of GCs relied upon T follicular regulatory cells (Tfr), a regulatory subset that ensure antibody affinity for pathogens while decreasing self-recognition. Despite displaying a dual function in GCs reaction, Tfr cells were originally described as affiliated exclusively to Tregs (“natural” Tfr cells, nTfr), a population expressing autoreactive T-cell receptors (TCRs). More recently, we challenged this dogma by the description, in human tonsils, of a Tfr subset, descending from Tfh cells (“induced” Tfr cells, iTfr). However, the biologic role of a heterogenic Tfr pool in human and its impact on ageing immune responses are currently unknown.

The long-term goal of the proposed PhD program is to determine the biological role of the Tfr pool heterogeneity during GC response in humans and how ageing impacts this balance contributing thus to immune dysfunction. Our working hypothesis is that two distinct pathways shape the human Tfr pool, and immunopathology could result when one developmental pathway takes the lead. Our final ambition is to develop strategies to influence the Tfr pool composition that will improve the vaccine response of the elderly population.

Technical approaches:

– Single cell RNA sequencing on human T follicular populations

– Multiplex microscopy of human tissues

– Development of human lymphoid organoïds and in vitro functional assays

– Recruitment and immunophenotype by multiparametric flow cytometry of an “ageing” cohort

Expected profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic PhD candidate with strong interest in immunology and excellent communication skills. Previous experienced with data analysis in R would be appreciated.

Interested, want to know more, how to apply

Contact us @ carole.le-coz@inserm.fr

Congratulations to the two first CARe students to defend their thesis!

Emmanuel Gonzalez Bautista and Lea Da Costa Fernandes were the first two PhD students of the CARe Graduate School to defend their thesis.

Emmanuel’s thesis defense took place on December 5th, 2022, on the subject “Screening for abnormalities of intrinsic abilities with advancing age within the framework of the WHO ICOPE program: example of the locomotion approach”, under the supervision of Pr. Sandrine Andrieu and Philipe de Souto Barreto, from the Centre for Epidemiology and Research in Population Health – CERPOP.

Lea defended her thesis on March 21st, 2023, on Modeling the inflammatory response dynamics following tissue damage in adult mammals”, under the supervision of Pr. Beatrice Cousin of the Restore Institute, and the co-supervision of François Peres, from the National School of Engineering in Tarbes – ENIT.

We congratulate them on this achievement and wish theme every success in their future career.

Launch of CARe’s 2023 call for PhD proposals 2nd phase

The pre-selected projects in the framework of CARe’s 2023 call for PhD proposals are available here.

PhD candidates for the pre-selected projects will submit the full proposal to Claire Mendoza (claire.mendoza-berrio@univ-tlse3.fr) and Clemence Grosnit (clemence.grosnit@univ-tlse3.fr) using this template. PhD candidates must be identified and are asked to send a complete CV including references.

At this step, PhD candidates must be identified and are asked to send a complete CV. Special attention will be given to candidates coming from foreign universities or countries. In addition, it is mandatory to provide a full description of the 3-6 months internship, including a signed attestation from the hosting foreign university or from industry.

The files must be submitted as a single PDF before May 12th, 2023. Applicants will defend their proposal in early June 2023, in front of a jury representative of the CARe Graduate school, with delegates from Toulouse partner doctoral schools. The audition will consist of 12 minutes of presentation and 15 minutes of questions. The presentation and the answers to questions will be done in English.

The presentation must include, in this order, 1 title slide, 1 slide presenting the candidate. The rest of the slides are dedicated to the presentation of the project (scientific justification of the research project, strategy, methodology, feasibility and risk management), including a description of the internship abroad or in industry. The following criteria will be evaluated by the jury: discussion of a previous research experience, quality of the oral presentation and of the response to questions.

Exchange opportunities between CARe & LSAMP

Toulouse has been chosen by the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program to be the french ambassador and develop exchanges of students. This is a great opportunity for the CARe Graduate School to welcome american gifted students in its Master’s and PhD programs.

The LSAMP is an alliance-based program.  The program’s theory is based on the Tinto model for student retention referenced in the 2005 LSAMP program evaluation.1   The overall goal of the program is to assist universities and colleges in diversifying the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce by increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees awarded to populations historically underrepresented in these disciplines: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. 

If you want to read more about the Louise Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, click here.