A rare disease to decode the functional link between DNA methylation and maintenance of centromere integrity

DNA methylation and centromere integrity are two important arms of genome maintenance, and their alterations are invariably associated with chromosomal instability and physiopathological conditions. The project aims at better understanding their functional links and the causal dimension on disease phenotypes.

Our team has contributed to place centromeric repeats transcription/transcripts at the heart of centromere maintenance. We also focus part of our research on a unique monogenic disease and remarkable case where compromised centromere integrity is directly linked to altered DNA methylation of the underlying repeats: the ICF syndrome. We have recently contributed to identify new ICF factors with unknown function, which represent unanticipated determinants of DNA methylation and centromere integrity.

Our team is recruiting a postdoc to further explore the functions, partners and genomic targets of the newly identified ICF factors, and to dissect the mechanisms that functionally link pathological DNA methylation, aberrant transcription, centromere loss of integrity and disease phenotypes. The project will involve the development of genome editing strategies, high throughput (epi)genomic and proteomic analyses, RNA studies and epifluorescence imaging.

Qualification. Highly motivated young researchers interested in the fundamental mechanisms that maintain genome integrity are encouraged to apply. We are seeking candidates with a broad set of technical and scientific skills, curiosity, autonomy, team spirit and strong work ethic. The applicant should have a strong background in molecular biology, epigenetic and RNA studies. Validated experience in genome editing will be a plus. Proficiency in English (written and oral) is required.

The successful applicant must have obtained, or be in the process of completing, a PhD in a relevant research area and a primary research paper in a peer-reviewed journal.

Our group belongs to the Epigenetics and Cell Fate unit located on the left-bank campus of the renowned Diderot University in Paris, France. We offer state-of-the-art equipment and a strong network of core facilities in a stimulating environment for multidisciplinary research.

Funding for the engineer/post-doctoral researcher is supported by an ANR grant for three years.

Application deadline is January 2020. Latest starting date April 2020.

Applicants should send their CV, a motivation letter with a brief description of their scientific experience and interests and two/three reference letters to Claire Francastel (claire.francastel@univ-paris-diderot.fr)