DONATE MAINS

Postdoctoral position available for 18 months

Job description:
Context : Retinal diseases cause varying degrees of vision loss up to complete blindness. Stem cell therapy can offer the possibility of recuperating vision. The Vision Institute uses human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology to generate different retinal cell types for rescue or replacement strategies in patients. 3D retinal organoids contain all major retinal cell types and a distinct layering close to in vivo morphology, and therefore hold great promise for transplantation, as well as for disease modeling and drug development.

Research program: The project aims to develop a non-invasive 3D live imaging microscope based on dynamic full-field optical coherence tomography (FFOCT), a technique invented at the Langevin Institute. It will fulfil an unmet need for in vitro screening of 3D retinal organoids and 2D cell cultures developed at the Vision Institute for eventual graft and new therapies evaluation. The candidate will design this microscope optimized for the longitudinal study of live organoids. He/she will build the microscope at the Vision Institute and will start performing the longitudinal evaluation of the organoids. The candidate will contribute to the precise characterization of the observed signal, and to the automatic analysis of the main features of the organoid (cell density, cell types, activity, etc.)

Collaborations: This postdoc project is at the core of a new ANR project called OREO that brings together researchers from the Langevin Institute (Olivier Thouvenin), the Vision Institute (Sacha Reichman), and the 15-20 National Ophthalmology Hospital (Kate Grieve, project PI). The final aim of OREO is to provide a new instrument that will evaluate the structure and function of retinal organoids as disease models and monitor how they respond to potential new treatments.
Possible follow-up: A second post-doc project of a further 18 months will follow this one and will use the microscope built during this first period to perform longitudinal studies on healthy and pathological retinal organoids at the Vision Institute, as well as performing evaluation of new therapies. Therefore, the current project could, if desired, be extended to a 3 year project combining the instrumentation and biology aspects.

Requirements
Candidates with a PhD in physics, optics, electrical engineering, neuroscience or fundamental biology with some experience in optical imaging, or any related field are encouraged to apply. As this instrumentation project is closely linked to its application in biology, the candidates are expected to have a strong interest for neuroscience and biology, and /or clinical applications.
Programming skills are essential (Matlab or Python). As they will be evolving in an international and collaborative environment, the candidate should be fluent in English, and show excellent communication and organizational capabilities.

Host lab
The project will be carried out at the Langevin Institute in the center of Paris, and some experiments will be conducted in the Vision Institute, located 15 minutes away.
The Langevin Institute gathers around 100 people around the physics of waves (optics, acoustics, electromagnetics, water waves, etc) and their interaction with different media, including biological samples. The Vision Institute / 15-20 National Ophthalmology Hospital also gathers many scientists, mostly biologists or clinicians, around the function and diseases of the eye.
Duration of the contract
The contract will cover the period between July 1st 2020 and December 31st 2021 (18 months).

Application procedure

Please send a detailed CV and a cover letter, as well as names, affiliations, and email addresses of two references to olivier.thouvenin@espci.fr
Make sure to mention “[Postdoc application]” in the email object. All the applications should be registered on the CNRS website (https://emploi.cnrs.fr – offer # UMR7587-OLITHO-001 "Postdoctoral Position (H/F): Label-free 3D optical imaging and characterization of retinal organoids")