A joint PhD position in Neuroscience is available at the University of Turin (UNITO) and the University Côte d’Azur (UCA) within the framework of the Vinci Program 2020 (Università Italo-Francese/Université Franco-Italienne).
We are seeking for a highly motivated candidate, strongly interested in Experimental Neuroscience and Molecular Neurobiology and dedicated to high quality research. The research project deals with the identification of molecular mechanisms controlling mitochondrial function in postnatal neurogenic niches and their implication in cognitive disorders.
The project will focus on the mitochondrial dysfunction caused by deficiency of the transcriptional regulator Nr2f1 (also known as COUP-TFI) and will address the downstream target genes crucial for mitochondrial function and investigate its outcome on neuronal plasticity and function. Patients with NR2F1 haploinsufficiency have mild to severe neurodevelopmental cognitive disorders, such as intellectual deficiency, epilepsy, learning and language impairments. The final goal is to unravel the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which Nr2f1 controls mitochondrial function in neurons and how this is correlated with proper cognitive behavior.
The project will combine multiple methodologies ranging from gold-standard neuroanatomical approaches to advanced techniques, such as tissue clearing, light-sheet microscopy and 3D whole-brain reconstruction, and two-photon functional imaging, as well as genome-wide and in silico analyses and animal behavior.
The successful candidate will enroll as a PhD student in Neuroscience at the University of Turin under the co- direction of Prof. Silvia De Marchis and Dr. Michèle Studer. The candidate needs to have good communication skills in English and willing to work in Italy and France since the project will be carried out in the “Adult Neurogenesis” group at the Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi at UNITO and in the “Development and Function of Brain Circuits” group at UCA.
The call will open on May 20, 2021 on the UNITO website (deadline for mid-June, 2021 – check the exact deadline on the platform) and the starting date of the PhD program is November 1st, 2021. The position is fully financed for four years.
If interested, please contact silvia.demarchis@unito and email@example.com by including an updated and detailed CV and a motivation letter.
Bonzano S, Crisci I, Podlesny-Drabiniok A, Rolando C, Krezel W, Studer M, De Marchis S. Neuron- Astroglia Cell Fate Decision in the Adult Mouse Hippocampal Neurogenic Niche Is Cell-Intrinsically Controlled by COUP-TFI In Vivo. Cell Rep. 2018 Jul 10;24(2):329-341. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.06.044.
Flore G, Di Ruberto G, Parisot J, Sannino S, Russo F, Illingworth EA, Studer M, De Leonibus E. Gradient COUP-TFI Expression Is Required for Functional Organization of the Hippocampal Septo-Temporal Longitudinal Axis. Cereb Cortex. 2017 Feb 1;27(2):1629-1643. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv336. PMID: 26813976.
Beckervordersandforth R. Mitochondrial Metabolism-Mediated Regulation of Adult Neurogenesis. Brain Plast. 2017 Nov 9;3(1):73-87. doi: 10.3233/BPL-170044.
Postdoctoral position in Developmental Neurobiology
A postdoctoral position is available from January 2021 in the “Development and Function of Brain Circuits” team led by M. Studer. We aim to understand how rare genetic variants of key master genes of brain development and circuit assembly can cause neurodevelopmental diseases (NDDs). The project will determine the impact of missense variants identified in the NR2F1 gene on the heterogeneity of neurodevelopmental defects described in affected patients. The postdoc will study genotype/phenotype correlations by using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in vivo and decipher the
pathological contribution of representative variants in the mouse system. We expect that the results of this work using experimental systems as well as the identification of Nr2f1 direct targets and interacting partners will help in understanding the phenotypic heterogeneity of patients and unveil pathophysiological mechanisms common to multiple NDDs.
The team is located in the heart of Nice and is part of the Institute of Biology Valrose (27 teams; 300 people; 25 nationalities), an international research centre that brings together high-profile teams with complementary areas of expertise and with a common interest in translating basic research into knowledge for the clinic. The iBV provides state of the art core facilities, with a collaborative and lively atmosphere in a gorgeous city/region. For more information, visit http://ibv.unice.fr/institute/presentation/
Qualification and experience
We are seeking highly motivated young candidates holding a PhD for less than 2 years. Preference will be given to applicants with a background in mouse genetics, cellular and molecular biology, confocal imaging and genome wide approaches. The position is opened for one year renewable up to 3 years (including medical benefits) starting as early as January 2021. Fluency in English is mandatory but ability to speak French is not required.
Applications should contain a CV, a letter of motivation with a description of research accomplishments (2 pages max) and the contact information of two references able to recommend their research work directly to Michele.STUDER@unice.fr.
Selected related publications :
1. Bertacchi M. et al., EMBO J. 2020 Jun 2. PMID: 32484994
2. Bertacchi M. et al., EMBO Mol Med. 2019 Jul 18. PMID: 31318166
3. Bertacchi M. et al., Review, Brain Res. 2018, Apr 27. PMID: 29709504.
4. Bosch D.G.et al., Am J Hum Genet 2014, Feb 6.. PMID: 24462372