PhD Position at the Institute of Functional Genomics (IGF, CNRS, Inserm and University of Montpellier, France)

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Closing date: open until filled

Reference : UMR5203-PATMOL-001

Workplace : Montpellier

Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer

Contract Period : 36 months

Start date of the thesis : 1st October, 2019

Proportion of work: Full time

Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly


3-year PhD position at the Institute of Functional Genomics (IGF, CNRS, Inserm and University of Montpellier, France) in Mollard lab (refs 1&2). It will be funded by CNRS in the frame of the CNRS collaboration program with the Weizmann Institute of Sciences (Israel, G. Levkowitz lab, refs 3&4).

We are looking for an outstanding, highly motivated candidate to join our research group in Montpellier to study the brain-internal milieu dialog by studying in vivo the neurohypophyseal release of vasopressin in mouse models. The PhD candidate will benefit of the scientific environment and state-of-the-art techniques at IGF (e.g. Mouillac lab expertise in vasopressin receptor structure and function) and will also do short visits at the Weizmann Institute where Levkowitz lab explores the vasopressin secretion process in zebrafish models.

State-of-the-art and PhD project. A fundamental question in neurosciences is how neurons transmit information to other cells whether the latter are neighbors (via synaptic and neuromuscular connections) or distant targets (via release of neurohormones into the bloodstream). Recently it has become possible to directly decode, in awake animals, the multiscale organization of neuronal release events of small transmitters such as dopamine or acetylcholine. However we still lack information about how neurons dynamically release neuropeptides in real life. To address this question the PhD candidate will employ an array of techniques (cellular in vivo imaging in awake GRIN lens-implanted animals), tools (e.g. optogenetic manipulation of contractile pericytes (capillary blood flow), design and use a new GPCR-based fluorescent probe for sensing vasopressin secretion in vivo) and animal models (e.g. Cre-dependent mouse lines and floxed mice for GCAMP6f/ChR2). 


1. Romano, N., Guillou, A., Hodson, D. J., Martin, A. O., and Mollard, P. (2017) Multiple scale neuroendocrine signals connect brain and pituitary hormone rhythms. PNAS 114, 2379-2382  *Highlighted in

2. Le Tissier P, Campos P, Lafont C, Romanò N, Hodson DJ, Mollard P. An updated view of hypothalamic-vascular-pituitary unit function and plasticity. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2017 

3. Anbalagan S, Gordon L, Blechman J, Matsuoka R, Rajamannar P, Wircer E, Biran J, Reuveny A, Leshkowitz D, Stainier D.Y.R, Levkowitz G. (2018). Pituicyte cues regulate the development of permeable neuro-vascular interfaces. Developmental Cell 47, 711–726. "Featured Article" in Dev. Cell's December 17th issue * Highlighted in a Dev. Cell Preview by Thomas, J.L. and Eichmann, A. (2018). To BBB or Not to BBB. Developmental Cell 47, 689-691.

4. Wircer E., J. Blechmann, N. Borodovsky, M. Tsoory, A.R. Nunes, R.F. Oliveira and G. Levkowitz. (2017). Homeodomain protein Otp affects developmental neuropeptide switching in oxytocin neurons associated with a long-term effect on social behavior. eLife e22170. DOI:


The IGF is internationally recognized for its research at the forefront of modern biological sciences. The IGF is arguably one of the top French research laboratories in Life Sciences. The institute has particularly strong recognition and visibility in the study of cellular communication and signaling mechanisms in normal and disease states. Research at IGF covers a broad range of biological disciplines, from neuroscience, to cardiac research, neuroendocrinology, pharmacology and cancer biology. A great strength of the IGF resides in its facilities/platforms providing IGF scientists, and more broadly the local and national communities, access to cutting-edge technologies in in vivo imaging, genomics, proteomics, viral transgenesis and pharmacological screening.

Please mention that you found this job on the Scientifica website when applying.

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