Junior Research scientist in parasitology : identification of molecular targets for the development of novel anthelmintic compounds


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

The “Infectious Disease and Public Health (UMR ISP) joint research unit located on the Nouzilly campus of the INRAE Centre Val de Loire (25 km from Tours) is a joint structure between INRAE and the University of Tours. It comprises 150 staff members (including 75 researchers, lecturers and engineers) whose research is dedicated to fighting infectious diseases of humans and livestock as part of the "One health” concept.
You will be part of the “Multiresistance and Pathogeny factors from Nematodes” team (MPN) composed of 8 permanent positions (including 5 research scientists and engineers). The research activities of the MPN team focus on gastro-intestinal nematodes impacting livestock (ruminants, horse and poultry) and aim at finding new efficient and sustainable control methods against these parasites. The complementary skills developed in our team (parasitology, functional genomics, physiology, molecular biology) represent major advantages to reach our scientific goals.
Parasitic nematodes have a major impact on the health, welfare and performance of livestock. In the absence of efficient alternative strategies, the control of these parasites mainly relies on the use of broad-spectrum anthelmintics. However, their intensive use has inevitably led to the emergence of resistant isolates. Moreover, there are accumulating evidences indicating their negative impact on the environment. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify novel targets for the development of next generation anthelmintic compounds.
In this context, your research project will aim at exploring the remarkable diversity of ion channels involved in physiological functions as diverse as locomotion, food intake, defecation and excretion / secretion of immunomodulators. It will consist in identifying, characterizing and validating new pharmacological targets from different parasitic nematode species. You will use molecular biology and electrophysiology approaches, including Two-Electrode Voltage-Clamp (TEVC) in the Xenopus laevis oocyte used as a heterologous system for the expression of parasite ion channels. You will work in synergy with the 4 engineers, the assistant engineer and the 2 technicians of the team as part of a research “continuum” integrating activities of phenotypic assays, genomics / transcriptomics of nematodes and manipulation of the model nematode species Caenorhabiditis elegans. These interactions will allow you to optimize the choice of ion channels to be studied and to establish efficient functional validation strategies for the selected targets (invalidation or overexpression of the targets, engineering of cell lines expressing the new receptors for drug-screening purpose).
Among the technical resources required for this position, the team has an operational electrophysiology platform including a conventional manual installation and an automated recording installation. You will also benefit from a large collaborative network and funding from several ongoing projects within the team. In the mid-term, you should obtain the funding necessary to sustain your research.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
Applicants should have a solid research background on the functional characterization of invertebrate ion channels, documented by publications in peer-reviewed journals. In-depth knowledge of molecular biology and electrophysiology would be highly desirable. Experience in the field of parasitology and more particularly nematology would be an advantage.
Candidates should have a good command of English.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2021-SA-2
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 27

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