Junior Research Scientist on nutritional prevention of chronic age-related pathologies


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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 Human Nutrition Unit (UNH) located in Clermont-Ferrand gathers 5 research teams, a platform in mass spectrometry (Plateforme d'Exploration du Métabolisme, component of the national MetaboHub infrastructure), and experimental facilities ensuring surgery and housing of rodents and minipigs (a total of about 120 permanent staff). For clinical studies, UNH has also access to the Nutrition Exploration Unit of the CRNH Auvergne (part of the national CALIS infrastructure). The whole system allows to conduct translational research (from cell studies to human studies, through animal models) in the field of nutrition and health. Within UNH, the "iMPROVINg" team in which you will work develops research aimed at understanding the major laws of metabolic interactions between tissues and organs in various pathophysiological situations characteristic of aging (insulin resistance, anabolic resistance to meals, inflammation ...) in order to propose preventive and adapted nutritional strategies taking into account the specific characteristics of these populations (personalized nutrition).

Maintaining the quality of life and mobility of elderly subjects requires a better understanding of the mechanisms that lead to the appearance of metabolic dysfunctions responsible, in the long term, for the loss of autonomy and frailty. For this, metabolism must be considered in all its complexity by integrating spatial (from the cell to the whole organism) and temporal scales (response to meals, diet, side events, ...). Metabolic adaptation mechanisms allow phenotypic plasticity but their overcoming can lead to metabolic drifts such as insulin resistance, especially in elderly individuals. In this context, your research will aim at proposing and testing new hypotheses on the metabolic pathways underlying phenotypic plasticity, and on the mechanisms that progressively lead to the loss of plasticity and to pathological damages.

To investigate these adaptive mechanisms, a more integrated view of the metabolic networks is required. Acquiring multi-omics data at the time of metabolic transitions would be useful to understand and integrate organ adaptations that explain the metabolic responses observed at the whole organism level. The numerous "omics" data generated in the team by the ongoing projects will provide the basis for metabolic modeling analyses through ongoing collaborations with mathematicians. These approaches will be applied to metabolic drift protocols in animals. The metabolic signatures identified in animals can then be monitored in humans and contribute to the implementation of tailored nutritional strategies, effective and targeted to counteract the observed metabolic drifts, particularly in the context of aging.

Our research team tells you more about your future job

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Competition opened to candidates holding a PhD -specialization in Nutrition or Physiology- (or equivalent).
Post-doctorate in the field of physiology and metabolism desired.
You have the ability to develop integrated research in the field of nutrition and metabolism physiology. You should have knowledge of various omics approaches and an ability to use mathematical and statistical methods to analyze and integrate complex data. You will be able to acquire through practice and possible training, knowledge of metabolic flux and modeling necessary for the long-term management of the project.

The use of animal experiments will be necessary to conduct the work.
You have a good capacity to work in a research group with multiple interlocutors, and within consortia gathering people with various expertises (biologists, nutritionists, modellers, bioinformaticians and statisticians).

You have the ability and desire to supervise and train students in research.
A good command of written and spoken English is highly desirable, as well as a long term international experience: the laureates who have not yet done so will have to carry out a stay abroad at the end of the internship year.

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.

For international scientists: please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE

All persons employed by or hosted at INRAE, a public research establishment, are subject to its internal regulations, particularly with regard to the obligation of neutrality and respect for the principle of secularism. In carrying out their functions, whether or not they are in contact with the public, they must not express their religious, philosophical or political convictions through their behaviour or by what they wear.  

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2024-ALIMH-2
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 14
Living in France and working at INRAE Our guide for international scientists

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