PhD position in neuroscience

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  • Type d'offre : CDD
  • Ville : Lille (France)
  • Statut : Recrutement en cours
Date d'arrivée à l'ITMO : Jeudi 18 Mars 2021

PhD position in neuroscience






Texte de l'offre

A PhD student position will be available in the team of Jean-Charles Lambert at the Institut Pasteur de Lille with the details below. Potential applicants should contact Devrim Kilinc at with their CV, cover letter, and contact information of two or more academic references.

Project title: Screening Alzheimer's genetic risk factors against amyloid synaptotoxicity

Project description: Genome-wide association studies reported over 200 genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, their putative roles in synapse maintenance are not fully understood (doi: 10.1007/s00401-019-02004-0 and doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0358-2). Considering that synapse loss is an early event in the AD process, dissecting the pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms in which AD risk genes are involved may lead to novel therapeutic targets. Our microfluidic co-culture model enables gene expression exclusively in pre- and postsynaptic neurons and exposes synapses to A peptides secreted from cell lines expressing wild-type or mutant (V717I) APP (doi: 10.1093/braincomms/fcaa139). We extended this model into a medium-throughput screening device, which packs 48 co-cultures into standard multi-well plate footprint, thereby allowing automated microscopy. We are currently screening all AD risk genes expressed in the brain for their impact on synaptic connectivity in 384-well plates. The objective of this project is to further screen risk genes for their capacity to block amyloid-β (Aβ)-induced synaptotoxicity and to characterize identified mechanisms via electrophysiology. To this end, we will (i) screen top 20% AD risk genes whose silencing is detrimental to synapses, by overexpressing them in pre- or postsynaptic neurons cultured in the medium-throughput device; (ii) validate protective mechanisms via high-resolution confocal microscopy and by chemically inhibiting the gene product whenever possible; and (iii) further characterize validated genes in microfluidic co-culture devices coupled to microelectrode arrays (MEAs) through the induction of synaptic potentiation in postsynaptic neurons upon high-frequency stimulation of presynaptic neurons. Protective mechanisms identified will be considered for future therapies.

Keywords: primary neurons; microfluidic devices; high-content screening; micro-electrode arrays; genetic risk factors

Profile and skills required: The candidate should have a solid background in cell biology, biochemistry, or a related field and a keen interest in neurobiology/neurodegenerative diseases. Academic achievements as evidenced by class ranking, fellowships, and awards are sought after. Hands-on experience in in vitro cell biology and fluorescent microscopy are desirable, but not required. Candidates are expected to work in a dynamic and collegial environment that requires strong organizational and communication skills.

Date de fin de publication :


Type d'emploi

Thèse – PhD

Type de contrat

Concours pour un contrat doctoral (regional co-financement requested)

Date limite de candidature


Date début de fonction



Information contact

Devrim Kilinc, PhD, HDR
Research Scientist
Institut Pasteur de Lille
INSERM U1167 - Risk Factors and Molecular Determinants of Aging-related Diseases



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