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Job Description

Nutritional epigenomics of placenta: impact of unbalanced diets on transcriptional regulation and epigenetic patterns
- Inserm UR 781 Hôpital Necker - Enfants Malades, Paris, France

Description: A two years postdoctoral position is available at Inserm U781 : "Genetics and epigenetics of metabolic diseases, neurosensorial diseases and development".

Scientific project: Unbalanced diet and metabolic disturbances associated with a significant and increasing proportion of women who are overweight and overfed when pregnant increase the risk of epigenetic and metabolic malprogramming for the fetus - giving rise to the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adulthood.

Despite the important role of placenta in the exchange of nutrients between the mother and the fetus and the fact that the placenta is one the very rare tissues that can be easily sampled and in great quantities, there are still very few investigations on its role in nutritional adaptative processes. As for fetus growth and development, complex epigenetically controlled mechanisms are required for placental development. Nutrition can affect these epigenetic mechanisms, causing long-term changes in gene expression and malprogramming. Thus, improving the nutritional environment to which an individual is exposed during development represents a major health challenge for future generations.
The aim of this project, which is already in progress, is:
1) to identify differentially expressed placental murine genes according to the physiopathological and nutritional status of the mother;
2) to decipher the "epigenetic signatures" associated with these transcriptional changes, and their potential reversibility;
3) to transfer to human placentae - from 6 cohorts covering the spectrum of physiopathological and nutritional conditions associated with malprogramming - data thus acquired with experimental rodent models, by functional genomics and epigenomics approaches. Appropriate human placentae markers would allow us to trace back the in utero journey, but also would serve as new biological predictors of responses to nutritional interventions.

Qualifications: We are looking for a dynamic and highly motivated postdoctoral fellow. He or she should have a good expertise in gene expression analysis (transcriptomic signature, Q RTPCR, in situ hybridization) and bioinformatic tools, in epigenetics signatures analysis, and in animal experiments (the authorization to manipulate alive animals would be welcome, level 1 for French students).

Experience and contacts in one or more of the following fields will be an advantage: microarray analysis and bioinformatic and biostatistic tools and epigenetics developmental programming, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, nutrition, placenta, and animal models.

Salary Details: The eligible candidate will be funded for two years by a grant. The salary will be between 1830€ and 2500€, depending upon the candidate. The position is available immediately.

Application Details: Applicants should send a covering letter outlining their suitability for this position, along with their CV, either by email to junien@necker.fr or by post to Pr Claudine Junien, Inserm UR 781 Hôpital Necker - Enfants Malades, Clinique M. Lamy 149 rue de Sèvres 75015 Paris, France.

Closing Date: Check with institute


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