The alpha7 nAChRs are abundantly expressed in the brain in regions underlying cognition, especially in the hippocampus and the frontal cortex. There is strong evidence that their activation can ameliorate neurocognitive deficits in patients, notably in schizophrenic patients. In this context, we recently generated two single-chain antibodies from alpacas (nanobodies) targeting this receptor, one acting as a positive allosteric modulator, and the other as a silent allosteric modulator. The aim of the project will be to engineer these nanobodies, through mutagenesis and chemical reactions, to endow them with novel properties: crossing of the blood brain barrier, and converting them into photo-switchable agonists through covalent reaction with azobenzene-grafted agonists.
We are looking for a motivated individual with a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry or biophysics. Experience in biochemistry is essential; experience with electrophysiology would be a plus but is not mandatory. Applicants will work between two labs and will thus have to beautonomous and take initiatives.
How to apply and Terms to employement:
The position is for 2 years and will be filled as soon as possible. The salary will follow the Institut Pasteur guidelines. Interested applicants should send their CV, a cover letter describing their motivation and contact details of two academic references to Gabriel.firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.