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Accueil > EN > Research Areas > Complex Systems Dynamics > BIological Systems > Cellular stress response

Open Postdoctoral Position in Systems Biology

par Webmestre - publié le

  • Topic : Dynamical heat shock responses in normal and cancer cells
  • Keywords : Dynamics of Biochemical network, Stress Response, Cancer therapy.
  • Candidate Profile We seek for either :
    • Candidate with a physics background with previous research experience on biological systems.
    • Or, candidate with a biology background trained to image analysis and quantitative data analysis.

Scientific context

Our team combines live cell imaging and computational modeling to gain understanding in the response of mammalian cells to various stresses (oxidative, thermal, metabolic). We have recently proposed a mathematical description of the molecular network responsible for the cellular protection against Heat Shock (HS) in mammalian cells [1]. This model describes dynamics of the major transcription factor (HSF1) in response to moderate HS (37°C-50°C). It does also predict the surviving fraction of cells exposed to various type of time varying HS. On the other hand we have developed experimental tools to follow the dynamics of HSF1 upon laser induced HS. This method allows studying cellular responses at time scales ranging from seconds to hours. We want now to use these methods (modeling and experiments) to create new strategies to beat the cellular HS response for therapeutic
use [2-3]. For example in the case of cancer one use a stress to remove undesired tissues.

Can we design a time varying stimuli that drive the cell into a state hypersensitive or hyper-resistant to HS ? As cancer cells exhibit disturbed expression of proteins involved in the HS response, can we design a time varying stimuli that drive cancer cells in state distinct from the one of non-cancerous cells ?

[1] Sivéry A., Courtade E. and Thommen Q. A minimal titration modelization of the mammalian dynamical heat shock response.
[2] El-Samad H., Kurat H., Doyle J. C., Gross C. A., and Khammash M. Surviving heat shock : Control strategies for robustness and performance. PNAS 2005
[3] Fulda S., Gorman A. M., Hori O., Samali A. Cellular stress responses : cell survival and cell death. Int. J. Cell Biol. 2010

Scientific mission

The postdoctoral position is dedicated to the experimental aspects of this project. This work will be done in close collaboration with modeling scientists. The experimental work will mainly consist in (i) extending our pallet of fluorescent reporter for live cells imaging (ii) quantifying the cellular responses both at the level of the population and single cell level and (iii) analyzing the experimental stress responses using a mathematical model of the regulatory networks.

Position and application details

  • The position is for one year renewable, and would start in April 2016.
  • Net annual salary is about 28000€ and includes a benefits package (health insurance, retirement and unemployment benefits).


  • The laboratory (Physique des Lasers, Atomes et Molécules) is located on the Villeneuve d’Ascq campus of the University of Lille. Lille is a lively city connected by high-speed train to Brussel (30mn), Paris (1h) and london (1h30).
  • This physics laboratory have facilities for cell culture, biochemistry and molecular biology.
  • Biophysics research in the institution is carried by 7 young permanent researchers and around 10 non permanent researchers. Note also the close interaction with researchers with knowledge in non-linear dynamics.

Applicants should send a letter of motivation, a CV including a complete
list of publication and at least 2 letters of recommendation to :

  •, and