An 18-month post-doctoral position is available in the “Chemoinformatics and Proteochemometrics” group (Dr O. Sperandio) of the Structural Bioinformatics unit (Pr M. Nilges) within the Structural Biology and Chemistry department, available immediately.
Research project: Molecular modeling and protein-protein docking to characterize key molecular mechanisms that underlay the pathophysiology of osteoporosis.
The position is offered in the framework of the ANR-funded Targetbonecollaborative project that brings together the complementary expertise of the groups of Professor Martine Cohen-Solal (Hôpital Lariboisière, project coordinator), Professor Giovanni Levi (Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle) and of the “Chemoinformatics and Proteochemometrics” group of Dr Olivier Sperandio at Institut Pasteur. The overall goal of the project is to provide an integrated understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlay the pathophysiology of osteoporosis focusing on the differentiation process of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells (BM-MSC) and bone marrow progenitors towards the osteoblastic lineage. Key transcription factors, playing an important role in osteogenesis, are expressed by BM-MSC and are upstream regulators of master genes involved in the induction of osteoblast differentiation. The general aim of the project is to characterize the cellular and molecular factors that promote BM-MSCs differentiation modifying directly the function of transcription factors in BM-MSCs or in more differentiated progenitors in vivo and in vitro.
The contribution of our group to this project is to use molecular modeling and protein-protein docking to characterize the molecular interactions that those key transcription factors have with their known partners to promote BM-MSCs differentiation at the molecular level. A tight collaboration is ongoing with the Pole Protein of Institut Pasteur for this project. This will bring precious crystal structures to validate the modeling approach with one or several generated structures.
The expected results are the functional and structural characterization of the interactions that those transcription factors make with some of their key partners in the context of osteoporosis. This opens new perspectives to identify druggable binding cavities, which will pave the way for future drug design projects.
Who are we looking for: The candidate must have a strong background in structural bioinformatics, homology modeling and protein-protein docking, ideally using the techniques based on evolutionary information. The candidate should be familiar with the concept of druggable pockets and the various software that can profile them. The candidate must be highly motivated, have good communication skills in english, and be willing and able to work with a team-spirit in a highly interactive research consortium.
What are we offering: Funding for 18 months, with the possibility to extend the contract by applying to further funding. The possibility to be involved in other protein-protein docking projects, a highly-demanded topic on the Pasteur campus. A fruitful and highly cooperative environment with the rest of the department, the structural bioinformatics unit, and the bioinformatics center (C3BI) which contain numerous talented structural biologists and bioinformaticians.
Salary will be commensurate with experience according to the Institut Pasteur guidelines.A first contact is usually established through a Skype interview, followed by an invitation to give an informal 30 minute talk to the team at the Institut Pasteur, and half a day discussing with the members of the lab. A decision to hire is then taken after discussion with the team.
Qualified applicants should send their CV, a statement of research interests and two letters of recommendationto firstname.lastname@example.org