Junior Research Scientist on the physiology of the mammary gland


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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, Environment and Genetics for the Animal and Livestock Systems (PEGASE) joint research unit, based near Rennes, conducts research aimed at gaining a better understanding of the interactions between animals, farming practices and the environment in order to improve the sustainability of food systems. Within this unit, you will be joining the "Biology of functions for livestock farming transition" (Biofonte) team, made up of around fifteen permanent staff, including six scientists with multidisciplinary skills who work on the physiology of digestion, growth and lactation in pigs and dairy ruminants (cattle and goats). You will receive technical support in the Unit's methodological workshops, which correspond to the laboratory's various analytical skills.

The aim of your research project will be to identify mechanisms for preserving the integrity of the mammary epithelium in dairy cows or promoting its resilience after disturbance, while preserving its dual functionality (milk synthesis and barrier role). Using epithelial cells isolated from milk to carry out in vivo experiments and studies you will first characterise the impact of environmental challenges, particularly heat stress conditions, on the integrity and functionality of the mammary epithelium.

Secondly, In order to better understand the mechanisms involved, you will use the in vitro cell models available in the team or develop new ones to test and identify the factors with beneficial effects on the maintenance or restoration of the integrity of the mammary epithelium when perturbations are applied.
Thirdly, using cows, you will assess the reliability of the protective or restorative solutions identified on the basis of the cellular models.

Ultimately, this research project will make it possible to develop multi-performance strategies (interactions between lactation/nutrition/health) based on a variety of practices to improve the health of dairy cows. In the long term, the main expected benefit is to improve the mammary health of dairy cows in synergy with sustainable milk production over time, in a One Health context with the objective of preserving the welfare of dairy animals while reducing inputs, including the use of antibiotics.

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Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

PhD level in animal physiology or equivalent.
Proven skills in cellular physiology are required. A strong interest in research using in vivo/in vitro experiments will 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. The ability to work in a team environment and to develop and manage collaborative research projects (nationally and internationally) are essential qualities for this post.
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-5
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 10
Living in France and working at INRAE Our guide for international scientists

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