Hearing impairment is the most frequent human neurosensory deficit. It is mainly caused by the degeneration of neurosensory cells in the cochlea. The neurosensory cells including the hair cells and auditory neurons can be destroyed by exposure to noise, ototoxic drugs, infection, or aging. In mammals, these neurosensory cells do not regenerate resulting in a profound and irreversible sensorineural hearing loss. The lack of human otic cell models represents a significant roadblock that has hampered the development of emerging therapeutics for hearing loss. Addressing these limitations will serve for the development of novel human inner ear
rotective and regenerative strategies (Zine et al. Stem Cells 2021 for a review).
We are looking for a motivated and creative post-doctoral fellow to join our stem cell biology research lab and study the normal and pathological development of the human inner ear using pluripotent stem cell-derived organoids as a model system. We recently developed 2D and 3D-based in vitro differentiation systems to generate an enriched population of inner ear sensory cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells via controlled
induction and stepwise guidance that mimics the otic in vivo microenvironment. By optimizing this novel model system, we aim at elucidating the mechanisms underlying inner ear sensory cell differentiation and identifying means to promote hair cell protection and regeneration in the human cochlea and open the door for developing new strategies to cure hearing loss.
The Zine lab is a highly collaborative group with diverse research backgrounds ranging from stem cell biology, neuroscience, and molecular biology. The experimental approaches we are currently using include 2D and 3D-organoid culture systems of human pluripotent stem cells, bioengineering, cochlear explants, RNA-seq, 3D imaging/microscopy.
Funding is available for supporting this position for up to three years (Montpellier University salary scale).
Deadline for application: July 31, 2023
Applicants should have a Ph.D. degree in a relevant discipline and hands on experience with human pluripotent stem cells and 3D stem cell biology is required. Computational skills for RNA-seq and/or single cell data analysis would be an advantage. Basic written/verbal English communication skills are required.
How to apply?
If interested, please send curriculum vitae, a description of research accomplishments and names of two references to Dr. Azel ZINE < firstname.lastname@example.org >, Vice Chair of the Laboratory of Bioengineering and Nanoscience, LBN UR UM104 at the University of Montpellier, France.