One Postdoctoral position is available in the Laboratory of Nuclear Organisation and Oncogenesis at Institut Pasteur to study the epigenetic mechanisms governing cellular plasticity, with particular interest in the role of post-translational modifications in early embryogenesis and oncogenesis.
How the identity of mature cells is maintained in multicellular organisms and how it is subverted in disease, particularly in cancer, are essential questions in biology and medicine. Cellular identity is dictated by transcriptional programs mediated by specific chromatin configurations, yet the mechanisms by which cell fate decisions are choreographed to generate the adult organism or are corrupted in tumors remain poorly understood. Notably, the role of post-translational modifications of proteins by other proteins in this process is still enigmatic. Among these, modification of chromatin proteins by the small SUMO protein acts as a general mechanism that safeguards cellular identity. Lowering the SUMO barriers facilitates change in cell identity irrespective of type and is able to generate embryo-like structures from embryonic stem cells.
The main objective of this project is to decipher the chromatin role of SUMO in cell plasticity, with a particular focus on embryonic and adult stem cells, with the ultimate goal of exploiting this knowledge to explore cancer cell reprogramming and in vitro embryo development modeling. The project will involve single cell -omics, chromatin biology, genome editing, protein biochemistry, live imaging as well as embryoid and organoid model systems.
Candidates should hold a PhD in Life Sciences and have interest in epigenetics and stem cells. Prior experience in embryology, tumor models and/or protein biochemistry are not mandatory but will be a plus.