PhD Position in RNA Biology and Cancer

The control of the messenger RNA translation (mRNA) in human cells contributes to the accurate expression of genes in space and time. There are different factors which contribute to the regulation of translation and their deregulation can lead to the development of cancers. The decision as to whether the mRNA will be translated or repressed is based on complex parameters encompassing various factors binding to the 5 ‘and 3’UTR mRNA, the secondary structure of the mRNA and changes in the mRNA itself (methylation). In addition, some proteins that have the ability to bind mRNA in the cytoplasm block / facilitate the expression of certain genes.

The overall goal of this PhD project is to investigate the role of an mRNA-binding protein highly expressed in cancer cells on the formation of an RNA nucleoprotein filament as well as its role in translation regulation in cancer cells. In addition, we want to develop small molecule that would target the mechanism leading to the formation of the nucleoprotein filament or protein partners that interact with the nucleoprotein filament that would be proposed as putative drug candidates for cancer.

We will use different approaches (nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), atomic force microscopy, molecular dynamics and cellular biology). All the facilities (NRM, AFM , microscopy, cell culture) are available in the laboratory.

Lab and Location:

The SABNP lab is an INSERM research unit with widely respected expertise in the structure/function relationships of RNA:Protein complexes involved in translation and splicing control (http://sabnp.univ-evry.fr/?lang=en). Our aim is to foster applications in medicine and biotechnology notably in cancer biology. To that end, the SABNP laboratory develops innovative and integrative approaches encompassing structural biology, bioinformatics and cell biology to enlighten the role of RNA-binding proteins related to cancer growth.

Research will take place in the Genopole campus. Genopole is france’s leading biocluster for biotechnologies and research in genomics and genetics. Genopole unites innovative high-tech life sciences companies, public and private research and higher education facilities at a single site in Evry/Corbeil-Essonnes, just south of Paris.

Skills: The candidate should have skills in molecular and cellular biology. An expertise in RNA biology or structural biology will be appreciated.

For more information about this project, contact us directly at david.pastre@nulluniv-evry.fr