Post-position on antimicrobial and antiamyloidogenic peptides

POST-DOC (6 months, from January 2024)

A 6 month post-doc is offered at the GEC Department, University "Picardie Jules Verne" (UPJV) in Amiens, France, to study the interaction of anti-amyloidogenic peptides with biomimetic membranes

Title of the project: cRossing the blood-brAin barrier for The delIvery Of aNti-AmyLoidogenic peptides with antibactErial activity (RATIONALE)

Referents:  Dr. Francisco Ramos-Martin, Pr. Nicola D’Amelio, Pr. Catherine Sarazin

Contact : francisco.ramos@u-picardie.fr, nicola.damelio@u-picardie.fr and catherine.sarazin@u-picardie.fr

Laboratory : Unité de Génie Enzymatique et Cellulaire UMR 7025 CNRS, Université de Picardie Jules Verne (UPJV), Amiens, France

Net salary:  ~ 2100/month

Summary: Neurodegenerative diseases are mostly associated with the presence of peptides and proteins capable of forming amyloid fibers. Most therapeutic strategies aim at inhibiting their aggregation. The synthetic peptide QBP1 is a promising agent against amyloidogenesis because it is able to inhibit the aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins without showing in-vivo toxicity. QBP1 also displays important sequence similarity with several antimicrobial peptides suggesting  an antibacterial activity never studied before.

This collaborative project aims at proposing new effective therapies to fight against neurodegenerative diseases by creating QBP1 analogs capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and inhibiting the formation of amyloid aggregates while exerting an antimicrobial activity in the brain. From a more fundamental point of view, the project could lead to a better understanding of the role of microbial infections in the initiation and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

The RATIONALE project. The work is in the frame of the RATIONALE project, in collaboration with the group of Pr. Pascal Sonnet at UPJV and Pr. Fabien Gosselet of Artois University. The project is funded by the MOSOPS project (Projet MOSOPS - Modélisation, Simulation, Optimisation des impacts, des Soins et des Parcours de Santé) presented in collaboration among UPJV, Artois University and University of  Littoral Côte d'Opale and funded within the frame of the CPER Santé 2021-2027 (Contrat Contrat de Plan Etat-Région).

Actual work in the frame of the project:

In this project, various peptide derivatives of QBP1 will be studied in their interaction with biomimetic biological membranes, mimicking bacterial lipid composition. Multiple techniques will be used (circular dichroism, fluorescence, molecular dynamics) with special emphasis on both liquid and solid state NMR. Paramagnetic probes will be used to locate the peptide in the membrane and to determine its structure.

GEC laboratory in Amiens

The GEC laboratory (Enzymatic and Cellular  Engineering) is dedicated to the study of cell biochemistry in animals and plants. Within the GEC, the Peptide Biophysics group at UPJV has long experience in the use of NMR for elucidating the structure and dynamics of biomolecules and in the preparation and the modeling of biological membranes, an important part in the development of the project. The group has access to molecular biology, electron microscopy, greenhouse and analytical platforms. In the latter, MS (LC/MS, GC/MS and MS/MS) and NMR (300, 400, 500 and 600 MHz with auto-sampler) instruments are available.

Amiens and its surroundings

Amiens is the main town of Picardie (now part of Hauts-de-France region), situated just north of Paris. Its cathedral is visited by 800000 people each year and it is the tallest gothic church and the largest cathedral in France (UNESCO world heritage). The town is crossed by numerous canals, making it one of the "Venice of the north". Floating gardens (Les Hortillonnages) are set over a course of 65 km of irrigation canals. Amiens also hosts one of the largest university hospitals in France. The University brings into town about 28000 students, animating its atmosphere. Its location, close to the north coast, Lille and Paris (Paris can be easily reached by train in about 1 hour), makes it a quiet and interesting place to live.

Eligibility

The candidate must hold a PhD in biochemistry and/or biophysics and/or chemistry, have a solid background in NMR spectroscopy. Experience in Molecular modeling should  also be appreciated. He/she should be able to work both independently and in the group. Knowledge of biochemistry, practical laboratory experience and an intermediate level of English are mandatory.

How to apply

Interested candidates can send applications to nicola.damelio@u-picardie.fr, catherine.sarazin@u-picardie.fr andfrancisco.ramos@u-picardie.fr including:

- A curriculum vitae.

- A letter of recommendation from the head of the present team and the PhD thesis supervisor.

- A letter of motivation from the candidate clearly highlighting the competencies he/she thinks he/she has acquired to carry out the project.

Selected candidates will be called for an interview (in English or French, based on their preferences).

Useful information / dates

Deadline: 15/01/2024

Start date: mid-January/February 2024

_____________________________________________________________________
Nicola D'Amelio

Professeur
Unité de Génie Enzymatique et Cellulaire UMR 7025 CNRS
Université de Picardie Jules Verne 

10, rue Baudelocque et 33 rue Saint-Leu - 80039 Amiens, France
tel: +33 3 22 82 7473
portable: +33 (0) 603283867
e-mail: