A 24 months POSTDOCTORAL POSITION is available in the group of Christine Neuveut in the laboratory of Monsef Benkirane at the « Institut de Génétique Humaine » (IGH) Montpellier, France.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major health problem with more than 257 million chronically infected individuals worldwide of whom it is considered that 25% will die from liver disease including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. While current antiviral treatments control viral replication they are unable to clear the virus in part because they fail to eliminate the viral nuclear DNA (cccDNA) responsible for viral persistence. Our group is interested in studying the mechanism of cccDNA persistence and transcriptional regulation. The project is based on our recent work showing that in the nucleus, HBV DNA contacts preferentially active chromatin at CpG islands (CGIs) that are enriched for Cfp1 factors, which we showed to be required for cccDNA transcription (Moreau et al., Nature Comm. 2018).
Our project aims at elucidating the mechanisms driving the repositioning of HBV at CGIs and study the functional consequences of such contacts on gene expression. This work will be conducted in collaboration with the laboratory of Romain Koszul (Unité: Régulation spatiale des génomes, Institut Pasteur) and with the group of Audrey Salles (unité de Technologie et service Biolmagerie Photonique, Institut Pasteur, Paris).
The applicant should be strongly motivated, have excellent technical skills in molecular biology, gene regulation, cell culture and imaging approaches, good communication skills and be fluent in English. Candidates should also possess a PhD or MD/PhD. Basic bioinformatic analysis skills will be a plus.