University of Reunion Island (program PHYTODENGUE funded by Region Reunion and FEDER)
ICSN, Métabolites de plantes Isolement, Synthèse et Bioactivité
CNRS - Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles
Avenue de la Terrasse - Bâtiment 27
Commensurate with postdoc payscale/Reunion Island university policies
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Analytical chemistry, phytochemistry, pharmacognosy
Position Type and date of takeover
Full Time (18 month), from July 1th 2021
Description of the lab: https://icsn.cnrs.fr/ and https://pimit.univ-reunion.fr
Gathering a 150-collaborator staff, the ICSN is the chemistry center of the CNRS campus in Gif sur Yvette. The Institute belongs to the Paris-Saclay University Campus, which will incorporate 10% of the French research. The ICSN develops research activities at the boundary between chemistry and biology, that draw inspiration from natural substances. Within the department “Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry”, the “Plant metabolites: isolation, synthesis and bioactivity” group uses integrated approaches to study and valorize specialized metabolites isolated from plants. The research group develop transversal competencies from natural product isolation and identification to organic synthesis with four main complementary and interdependent goals: (i) Studying the chemical diversity of tropical plants (ii) Isolating new bioactive molecules (iii) Improving their activities by the development of medicinal chemistry research programs and (iv) Studying their mechanism of action.
The Research Unit (UMR) "Infectious Processes in Tropical Island Environments, acronym PIMIT hosts associate and full Professors, researchers, engineers and technicians from the Reunion University, INSERM (U1187), CNRS (9192) and IRD (249). It is located in Saint-Denis de La Réunion at the CYROI research platform (Reunion Cyclotron, 2 rue Maxime Rivière, 97490 Ste Clotilde). This unit of about 40 members (20 permanents and 20 non permanents) conducts research on zoonotic infectious diseases in Reunion Island and in the South-West Indian Ocean Islands. PIMIT is structured in 2 research teams: Dynamics of Infectious agents in Insular Systems (acronym DySIIs) and Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Pathogenic Infectious Agents (acronym MOCA) led by Pr. Philippe DESPRÈS. MOCA is a team specialized in the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of RNA viruses of medical importance. Two research axes are carried out within the MOCA team, the first one focuses on infectious pathologies with a target on pathogenicity and host response. The second research axis focuses on anti-infectious strategies through vaccinology and antiviral strategies using medicinal plants as a source of active molecules. Successful collaborations have been established with research groups within France, Europe, Brazil and USA and their themes are supported by European H2020 (ZIKAlliance) and FEDER Région Réunion 2015-20 (ZIKAlert and PHYTODENGUE) programs as well as R&D partnerships with SMEs supported by Inserm Transfert.
Description of the job
In response to the recent emergence of dengue (DENV) disease in La Reunion associated with the introduction of three DENV serotypes leading to a major risk of dengue hemorrhagic fever, it was decided to develop a PHYTODENGUE program by an international scientific consortium sharing complementary expertise in the fields of phytochemistry, medicinal chemistry and molecular virology, from the Indian Ocean (UMR PIMIT, LIA (University of Antananarivo), UR CHEMBIOPRO), France (ICSN) and Belgium (Neyts Lab, KU Leuven).
The "hot spot" status of the biodiversity of Madagascar and Reunion Island makes it possible to envisage the discovery of anti-DENV compounds isolated from plant biodiversity. This consortium has, (i) a strong experience in the collection of relevant biological material in the Indian Ocean region, (ii) the expertise for the characterization and processing of this material, (iii) the expertise for identifying antiviral activity of novel compounds employing cell-based assays, bio-guided fractionation, molecular network using metabolomic approach (iv) the expertise for validation of toxicology and antiviral activity using a relevant in vivo model for DENV infection.
For this purpose, the University of La Reunion, is seeking a highly talented and motivated postdoctoral candidate with an experience of at least 3 years to join PHYTODENGUE consortium. The postdoc will be located at the ICSN in Paris to isolate and characterize the phytochemical composition of active medicinal plants.
• In-depth knowledge of pharmacognosy and chemistry of natural products.
• General knowledge in botany, organic chemistry (synthesis methodology) and analytical chemistry.
• Basic theoretical knowledge of biological tests (principles, methodology of cells-based assay), test validation.
• At least 3 years experience in phytochemistry, including strong expertise in coupling separative and analytical methods, and structural analysis.
• Knowledge of new methodologies (analytical techniques and computer tools) related to metabolomic analysis of plant extracts (LC/MS/MS analysis, molecular networks) is an asset.
• A good command of English is recommended.
• Knowledge of computer software for the control and acquisition of data from the host laboratory is an asset (HPLC/UV/ELSD Waters).
• Perfect mastery of extraction, separation and analysis techniques: sample preparation by solid phase extraction, chromatography on low and medium pressure columns on all types of supports.
• Strong expertise in analytical and preparative HPLC methodology, and LC/UV/ELSD/MSn (use of reverse, normal, chiral phases, SFC columns, ...).
• Perfect command of tools related to the structural analysis of small molecules (NMR, MS, IR, UV, polarimetry...).
• The candidate will have to be operational in the structural determination of small molecules of natural origin (PM < 1000).
• Know-how in the implementation of synthesis methodologies (late functionalization).
Please submit your cover letter, CV, and names and contact information for at least 3 references.