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Postdoctoral fellowship in biophysics in Sorbonne University

The Laboratoire Jean Perrin is looking for a post doctoral researcher to model vaccination and niche competition effects in the gut for microbiota engineering. Antibiotic multi-resistant (AMR) bacteria that frequently inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and livestock are a serious threat. Our recent work demonstrates that intestinal antibodies, raised by inactivated oral vaccines, enforce the targeted strain to undergo “enchained growth”, forming large clumps. During the project, a protocol combining vaccination with introduction of a niche competitor, for targeted drug-free removal of an individual bacterial strain from the microbiota of mice, will be developed, and extended to domestic pigs. Combining mathematical models and quantitative dynamic data will provide a solid framework for subsequent large-scale trials and extension to more diverse bacterial species and hosts.

The postdoc will analyze experimental data to extract information about the bacterial populations dynamics. He/she will develop biophysical models of the microbiota dynamics in the gut, integrating immune dynamics and competition, and animal size and physiology. Beyond the direct applications to the experiments of the project, the goal is to gain a better understanding on how the physical conditions in the gut interplay with the microbiota dynamics.

The postdoc will be based in Sorbonne Université, Paris, under the supervision of Claude Loverdo, and the work will be in close collaboration with Emma Slack, ETH Zürich. The postdoc will be integrated to the theory team of the Laboratoire Jean Perrin, a young and dynamic biophysical lab, in the center of Paris. The postdoc duration is 12+ months, start date negotiable from September 2018, with salary according to experience.

The candidate should have a PhD (or have it completed before the start of the position), in physics or a related field, and a strong experience in modeling. Moreover he/she should have a deep interest and possibly a previous experience in biology.

If you are interested please send us a CV and a short email motivating your interest in the position to Claude Loverdo claude.loverdo@upmc.fr and Emma Slack emma.slack@micro.biol.ethz.ch.

Most relevant publications:
– K.Moor, M.Diard, M.E.Sellin, B.Felmy, S.Y.Wotzka, A.Toska, E.Bakkaren, M.Arnoldini, F.Bansept, A.Dal Co, T.Voller, A.Minola, B.Fernandez-Rodriguez, G.Agatic, S.Barbieri, L.Piccoli, C.Casiraghi, D.Corti, A.Lanzavecchia, R.R.Regoes, C.Loverdo, R.Stocker, D.R.Brumley, W-D.Hardt, E.Slack. High-avidity IgA protects the intestine by enchaining growing bacteria. Nature 544:498–502 (2017)
– M.Diard, E.Bakkaren, J.K.Cornuault, A.Hausmann, K.Moor, M.E.Sellin, C.Loverdo, A.Aertsen, M.Ackermann, M.De Paepe, E.Slack, W-D.Hardt. Inflammation boosts bacteriophage transfer between Salmonella spp. Science 355:1211–1215 (2017)
– F.Bansept, K.Schumann-Moor, M.Diard, W-D.Hardt, E.Slack, C.Loverdo,  Enchained growth and cluster dislocation : a possible mechanism for microbiota homeostasis, bioRxiv:298059