Funded PhD position in Biomolecular hyperpolarized solid-state NMR (DNP) at CEA / Univ. Grenoble Alpes (France)

We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate in the field of biomolecular solid-state NMR combined with Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP), for a start in Fall 2023 (or earlier).

The PhD student will be involved in a highly interdisciplinary research project at the frontiers of Chemistry, Biology and Physics. The aim is to continue the development of selective hyperpolarization NMR approaches and combine them with site-specific isotopic labeling for the investigation of active sites in large biomolecular assemblies.

PhD context and objective: Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) has emerged as a promising hyperpolarization technique for solid-state NMR. Nevertheless, for biomolecules, the spectral resolution is often strongly impacted by the use of cryogenic temperature. The DNP-NMR team at CEA Grenoble recently introduced a new methodology, called Selective DNP (SelDNP), which allows recovering high-resolution DNP spectra for specific parts of the protein [1]. This targeted DNP-NMR approach [2] combines paramagnetic tagging (radical-functionalized ligand, spin label, paramagnetic metal ion, etc.) and differential spectroscopy. It was demonstrated to reveal the carbohydrate-binding site of the protein LecA (12 kDa). Thanks to the expertise of NMR-Bio, a translational contract research organization (, in advanced specific isotopic spin labeling [3], we propose to extend this emerging and promising SelDNP methodology to large biomolecules. As a proof of concept, we will first focus on a chondroitin sulfate 4-endosulfatase (ENDO-4sulfatase, 58 kDa) expressed by Prevotella oris, a bacteria of the human gut microbiota. Sulfatases are important and yet poorly understood enzymes, which play a key role in regulating the sulfation states of many important substrates, including complex cell-surface polysaccharides. Ultimately, the development of the SelDNP methodology should provide new solutions for investigating protein/glycan interactions and glycoenzymes.

[1] I. Marin-Montesinos, D. Goyard, E. Gillon, O. Renaudet, A. Imberty, S. Hediger and G. De Paëpe, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 3366.

[2] D. Gauto, O. Dakhlaoui, I. Marin-Montesinos, S. Hediger and G.De Paëpe, Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 6223.

[3] R. Kerfah, MJ. PLevin, R. Sounier, P. Gans and J. Boisbouvier, Current Opinion in structural Biology, 2015, 32:113-122.

Required background: Background in biochemistry and biophysics is required, with a strong interest in structural biology and physical chemistry (including NMR spectroscopy). Practical knowledge in protein production and overexpression is recommended. Basic knowledge in (solid-state) NMR spectroscopy would be an asset.

Application: Interested and motivated candidates can apply by email to and Please provide:

- your CV
- a motivation letter
- M1 and M2 marks and ranking

More information about the position can be found here and about our group at

Grenoble is one of the major cities in Europe for research with a large international scientific community. In addition, Grenoble has a large international student population, is a very pleasant city to live in, and is known as the “Capital of the Alps” with easy access to great skiing and hiking. It’s also only 2 hours’ drive to the Mediterranean Sea, Italy, or Switzerland. Grenoble, Lyon, and Geneva airports are nearby and permit straightforward international travel.