Junior Research Scientist on the functioning of mitochondria for male fertility


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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 Physiology of Reproduction and Behaviour Joint Research Unit, located in Nouzilly near Tours, conducts fundamental and applied research in three major fields in mammals and birds: behavioural biology and neuroendocrinology, systems biology and modelling, and reproductive biology. Within this unit, you will join the SENSOR team, composed of 6 permanent members, including two researchers and a university hospital researcher, who are working on the interactions between metabolic energy signals and reproduction in birds, cattle , mice and humans.

The aim of your research project will be to characterise the functions of mitochondria in chicken testis cells, focusing on germ cells and Sertoli cells. In the course of the research project, you will use cells purified from gonads taken from males of different genetic origins, use cell cultures and carry out in vivo studies to validate your hypotheses. The originality of the project lies in the fact that the biological actions exerted by this organelle will be considered as a lever to encourage the adaptation of poultry to new rearing methods in order to maintain or even improve the fertility of breeding stock.
First, you will study the variability of gonadal mitochondrial populations between different strains of chicken, using morphological approaches and high-throughput analyses (transcriptome, proteome).

Secondly, based on these strains, you will analyse mitochondrial activities such as bioenergetic activity, respiration, interactions with other organelles (e. g. the endoplasmic reticulum and lysosomes), as well as other activities such as oxidative stress, apoptosis and proliferation.

Thirdly, you will seek to modulate mitochondrial activity, by testing various factors and time windows of application, with the aim of improving the quality of the germ cell. Knowledge of mitochondrial functions in the chicken testis will provide a better understanding of the role of this organelle in the production of good quality spermatozoa, so that it can be better taken into account in agro-ecological practices and selection schemes in the poultry industry.

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Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

PhD level or equivalent.
Skills in sub-cellular imaging, cell dynamics and molecular biology are required. Training in reproductive physiology would be appreciated. Experience in high-throughput data analysis would be appreciated. If you do not already have experience in animal experimentation, you will need to be trained to enable you to conduct animal experiments.
Fluency in written and spoken English is highly desirable, as is long-term international experience: successful candidates who have not already had such experience will be required to spend time 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-PHASE-3
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 9
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