PhD position at the Laboratory of Biomolecules, Paris

A PhD position (starting October 2018) is available in the NMR team of the Laboratory of Biomolecules, Sorbonne University, Paris. The PhD project, under the supervision of Prof. Olivier Lequin, is entitled: “Role of cell surface molecular interactions in the mechanism of entry of homeodomains”.

Homeoproteins form a widespread class of transcription factors endowed with the unique ability to cross cell membranes by unconventional mechanisms and to be internalized within cells. This atypical property is involved in original cell communication pathways and is also exploited to develop biotechnology tools to deliver biologically active compounds within cells. The PhD student will analyse the role of different interactions with cell surface partners (specific lipids, glycosaminoglycans) in the mechanism of internalization of Engrailed homeoprotein. The analysis of interactions will rely on NMR spectroscopy, in combination with biochemical experiments (mutant engineering), biophysical techniques (circular dichroism, fluorescence, microcalorimetry) and molecular modelling. This PhD project aims to understand the molecular basis of cell internalization, in order to modulate its efficiency and specificity. This interdisciplinary research program, supported by a French ANR grant, gathers several teams of the Laboratory of Biomolecules and the team of A. Joliot in College de France.

Publication linked to this project:

Carlier L., Balayssac S., Cantrelle F.X., Khemtémourian L., Chassaing G., Joliot A., Lequin O. Investigation of homeodomain membrane translocation properties: insights from the structure determination of Engrailed-2 homeodomain in aqueous and membrane-mimetic environments. Biophys. J. 2013; 105:667-678.

The candidate should ideally have some experience in protein NMR spectroscopy and protein biochemistry. Application, comprising a full CV, a cover letter and a reference letter, should be sent to by July 4, 2018.


Olivier LEQUIN

Professeur Sorbonne Université

Directeur adjoint du Laboratoire des Biomolécules

Campus Pierre et Marie Curie, tour 33-23, bureau 518

Boite 182, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 PARIS Cedex 05

Tél. +33/0 1 44 27 31 13 Fax. +33/0 1 44 27 62 50