PhD position at the Laboratory of Condensed Matter Chemistry of Paris (University Pierre and Marie Curie, Collège de France)

We are seeking for a highly motivated candidate to study the mineralization of the zebra fish, Danio rerio through solid state NMR.

The project is part of an interdisciplinary collaboration between Evolutionary biologists and NMR spectroscopists from the University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC, Paris, France). The project aims to better understand the fundamental processes of apatite formation in the frame of bone mineralization.

If the different structural levels of organization of the bone tissue are well known, the underlying formation mechanisms are still not understood. During the first stages of mineralization non collageneous proteins (NCPs) are proposed to control the nucleation and growth of hydroxyapatite through the deposition of a precursor phase. In order to progress in understanding these early stages, we chose the zebrafish Danio rerio as a model due to its ability to regenerate its organs, including its fins. Indeed, the fin rays are dermal skeleton elements and their structure is very close to that of bone. Studying the regeneration has the advantage to follow of the mineralization process step by step, from initiation to the terminal maturation.

For this purpose we will use solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) due to its ability to act as a local probe of matter. And in parallel we will also study the proteins that control mineralization through genes expression encoding the identified NCPs (secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein SCPP and bone Gla protein BGP or calcitonin).

The successful candidate will be located at the Laboratory of Condensed Matter Chemistry of Paris (LCMCP, Collège de France) and will have access to the analytical platforms available in Paris at the Collège de France and at UPMC (300 and 700 MHz solid state and 300 MHz liquid state NMR, SEM, MET-EDX, Cryo-MET, gene expression through in situ hybridization and quantitative PCR…).

Required Skills: Candidates must have a solid formation in solid state NMR. They will be highly motivated by a multidisciplinary research project including in situ biological material sampling and combining a large variety of analytical tools. Good knowledge in the field of Biomineralization and Biology is highly desirable.

Duration: 3 years.

Start: 1st of October 2015

Application deadline: 1st of May 2015

Candidates must provide a full CV, a cover letter and of two reference letters to Thierry Azaïs at thierry.azais@upmc.fr (+33 1 44 27 15 43; http://www.labos.upmc.fr/lcmcp/?q=node/1784).

References:

[1] Wang et al. Nature Materials 2012, 11, 724-733. 

[2] Wang, Von Euw et al. Nature Materials 2013, 12, 1144-1153.

[3] Mahamid et al. PNAS 2008, 105, 35, 12748–12753.

[4] Mahamid et al. PNAS 2010, 107, 14, 6316–6321.

[5] Bardet et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 2010, 67, 305-320.