1 Doctoral position in the Vessel Formation in Development and Disease group
1 Doctoral position in the Vessel Formation in Development and Disease group

An ANR funded PhD position is available in the Vessel Formation in Development and Disease group at the iBV

The role of p16-dependent cellular senescence in healthy aging


Description :

Cellular senescence attracts attention as a key player contributing to organismal aging. The accumulation of senescent cells is dramatically increased with aging, however their precise contribution to aging-related phenotypes remains largely unclear. In collaboration with the team of D. Bulavin we showed p16-dependent senescent cells are required for healthy aging. We used different novel inducible mouse lines to characterise the role of p16 expressing cells in different organs. Currently, we focussed mainly on liver. The project aims at identifying the cell repertoire linked to aging-induced senescence and to investigate the impact of senescent cells on liver functions and to understand molecular pathways modulated by senescence. For these purposes we will use p16-Cre and p16-Cre-ERT2 mice crossed either with Rosa26-mTmG reporter or Rosa26-DTA ablator mice. The animals will be investigated by histological and immunohistological methods and RNA sequencing will be performed at different ages. This project will help to understand the molecular mechanism responsible for aging-induced activation of senescence and hopefully identify potential molecular targets to manipulate senescence through reprogramming and/or selective elimination of subsets of senescent cells.

Required Skills :        

The working language is English.
Experience in molecular biology, cellular biology and/or mouse genetics would be a plus.
Motivation to work with mouse models and team orientation are required. Animal experimentation training is part of the project.

Related publications:

Grosse, L, Wagner, N, Emelyanov, A, Molina, C, Lacas-Gervais, S, Wagner, KD et al.. Defined p16High Senescent Cell Types Are Indispensable for Mouse Healthspan. Cell Metab. 2020:. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.05.002. PubMed PMID:32485135 .

Wagner, KD, Du, S, Martin, L, Leccia, N, Michiels, JF, Wagner, N et al.. Vascular PPARβ/δ Promotes Tumor Angiogenesis and Progression. Cells. 2019;8 (12):. doi: 10.3390/cells8121623. PubMed PMID:31842402 PubMed Central PMC6952835.

Wagner, KD, El Maï, M, Ladomery, M, Belali, T, Leccia, N, Michiels, JF et al.. Altered VEGF Splicing Isoform Balance in Tumor Endothelium Involves Activation of Splicing Factors Srpk1 and Srsf1 by the Wilms' Tumor Suppressor Wt1. Cells. 2019;8 (1):. doi: 10.3390/cells8010041. PubMed PMID:30641926 PubMed Central PMC6356959.

Wagner, KD, Ying, Y, Leong, W, Jiang, J, Hu, X, Chen, Y et al.. The differential spatiotemporal expression pattern of shelterin genes throughout lifespan. Aging (Albany NY). 2017;9 (4):1219-1232. doi: 10.18632/aging.101223. PubMed PMID:28437249 PubMed Central PMC5425123.

Wagner, KD, Cherfils-Vicini, J, Hosen, N, Hohenstein, P, Gilson, E, Hastie, ND et al.. The Wilms' tumour suppressor Wt1 is a major regulator of tumour angiogenesis and progression. Nat Commun. 2014;5 :5852. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6852. PubMed PMID:25510679 .

El Maï, M, Wagner, KD, Michiels, JF, Ambrosetti, D, Borderie, A, Destree, S et al.. The Telomeric Protein TRF2 Regulates Angiogenesis by Binding and Activating the PDGFRβ Promoter. Cell Rep. 2014;9 (3):1047-60. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.09.038. PubMed PMID:25437559 .


Kay-Dietrich Wagner – kwagner@unice.fr
Nicole Wagner – nwagner@unice.fr


PhD Position - 3 years - Starting October 2020
PhD Position - 3 years - Starting October 2020

Deciphering the regulation of the cell death receptor Fas by cell polarity molecules & adherens junctions in both tumoral and normal human epithelia

Key words: Receptor, Signaling, Cancer, Cell polarity, Cell-Cell jonctions


The PhD student will integrate the research group “death receptors signaling in cancer therapy” (iBV, http://ibv.unice.fr/research-team/hueber). at the Institute of Biology Valrose affiliated to the CNRS, Inserm and University Côte d’Azur (UCA).

Project proposal: Our team is investigating the functions of the cell death receptor Fas/CD95/TNFRSF6, a member of the TNFR superfamily. Fas is considered as a tumor suppressor thanks to its ability to eliminate cancer cells by engaging programmed cell death by apoptosis. However, Fas activation by its ligand (FasL) could also promote tumor development and immune disorders (1). Our group is studying the molecular mechanisms that control the Fas versatile signaling outcome in the context of both normal and cancer cells (2, 3). Our recent data show that formation of adherens junction, a cell-cell adhesion complex, and association with the Dlg1 polarity complex prevent the pro-apoptotic signaling of Fas (4, 5). This new Fas-regulatory mechanism is crucial to protect normal epithelial cells from apoptotic signals and to sense and eliminate abnormal cells from epithelial tissues to prevent pathological outcome such as cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. The PhD student will pursue this project and decipher the regulation of Fas cell death and non- death signaling by the Cadherin-Dlg1 polarity complex notably by studying Fas receptor signaling/trafficking on both primary and tumoral epithelial human cells by using various cell biology approaches.

Bibliography of the team link to the project: 1- Rossin et al (2019) Cancers, 8;11(5):639. 2- NL t al (2018) Sci Rep, 20;8(1):12424. 3- Chakrabandhu K (2016), PLoS Biol, 4;14(3). 4- Gagnoux-Palacios, L.; et al (2018) Journal of Cell

Biology, 217, 3839-3852. 5- Gagnoux-Palacios L., Hueber AO (2019) Medecine/Sciences. 35(11):830-833.

Technical approaches: Human cell culture; cell death assays; receptor trafficking studies (cell surface labeling, endocytosis assay), protein expression quantification/localization (FACS, IP, IF, IB, ELISA, proteomic); microscopy techniques (confocal imaging, time-lapse).

Candidate profil: We are looking for a highly motivated student, independent and creative, with a Master’s Degree in Cellular, Cancer or Molecular Biology. Prior experience with cell culture and classical cellular and biochemical approaches will be appreciated.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested and motivated students should send as soon as possible a CV, a motivation letter, master scores/ranking and reference letters to both L. GAGNOUX (gagnoux@unice.fr) and A-O HUEBER (hueber@unice.fr).