The candidate will work under the joint supervision of Drs Marc Dalod and Sandrine Roulland. Vertebrate resistance to viruses and cancers relies on both innate and adaptive immunity. Dendritic cells (DCs) play a crucial role in this process. They are capable of detecting infections to initiate innate immune responses, and then orchestrating the activation of adaptive immunity. DCs constitute a heterogeneous cell population, encompassing distinct cell types with different functions. Studies in mice have demonstrated the crucial role of conventional type 1 dendritic cells (cDC1s) in antiviral or antitumor immunity. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are also proposed to be key in antiviral defense and an interesting target in antitumor defense. However, knowledge remains limited on the functional specialization of human cDC1s and pDCs and their molecular regulation. Progress in this research field is hampered by the rarity of these cells, their fragility and their resistance to lentiviral transduction. To overcome these technical obstacles, the candidate will develop a new genetic and pharmacological screening approach. He/she will capitalize on the complementary expertise of the Dalod and Roulland teams, respectively in the generation of human cDC1s/pDCs in vitro from hematopoietic progenitors and their functional study, and in the design, implementation and analysis of CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screens in immune cells. This approach will open up new avenues for manipulating human cDC1s and pDCs to improve existing vaccinations or immunotherapies against viral infections or cancer.

The CIML is located on the Luminy campus, which brings together fundamental research laboratories in all disciplines of the life sciences, computer science, physics, chemistry and mathematics, as well as biotech start-ups, several of which initially originated from CIML research: Innate Pharma, Immunotech, Veracyte and Oz Bioscience. The teams also belong to the CenTuri Institute (http://centuri-livingsystems.org/), which fosters close collaboration between biologists, mathematicians, physicists and bioinformaticians to understand how biological function emerges from the organization and dynamics of living systems.

Please, send by e-mail to dalod@ciml.univ-mrs.fr et roulland@ciml.univ-mrs.fr
1) a curriculum vitae with a summary of training, professional experience, main qualifications and any awards obtained,
2) a complete list of publications,
3) a brief description of previous research projects and technological experience,
4) the contact details of two professional referees, including the thesis director,
5) a motivation letter.

Please apply as soon as possible before January 31, 2024.

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