Neurodegenerative Disease under the Microscope: A Multimodal Imaging Approach to Decipher Aggregation Networks using Huntington Inclusion Formation as a Model System
This joint interdisciplinary PhD project exploits synergies between the Lashuel laboratory (SV-BMI-LMNN) and the Radenovic laboratory (STI-IBI-LBEN). Research in LMNN focuses on applying chemistry and biology approaches to elucidate the mechanisms of protein misfolding and aggregation and their contribution to neurodegenerative diseases. LBEN works in the research field that can be termed single molecule biophysics. They develop techniques and methodologies based on optical imaging, biosensing and single molecule manipulation with the aim to monitor the behavior of individual biological molecules and complexes in vitro and in live cells.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease (HD) pose one of the grand challenges for our society. They severely impact the quality of life; there is no cure and therapies only alleviate the symptoms. Recent evidence suggests that phase separation and subsequent phase transitions play a key role in protein aggregation of intrinsically disordered proteins such as Huntingtin. However, very little is known about molecular and cellular determinants of these transitions. We believe that the combination of unique expertise, biochemical tools to manipulate Htt structure and PTMs, and novel imaging modalities position us well to make progress that has great potential to address this knowledge gap and develop novel approach with wide-ranging applications in basic and translational neurodegenerative research. Towards this goal, we will apply single-molecule fluorescence super-resolution (localization microscopy, single particle tracking), phase microscopy and image analysis (deep learning) to directly study Huntington’s disease in cellular and neuronal HD model systems that are well characterized at the biochemical, biophysical, omics and ultrastructural levels. The project connects the expertise of the Radenovic lab in imaging technologies with the extensive know-how of neurodegenerative disease of the Lashuel Lab.
We seek highly talented, enthusiastic and exceptionally motivated candidates with a M.Sc. degree in (bio)physics with an affinity for (neuro)biology and biophysical chemistry. We also encourage candidates with a background in (neuro)biology with an interest in advanced microscopy to apply for this position.
Good communication skills and team spirit are important. Fluency in English is an absolute requirement; the candidate must be conversant and articulate in English speaking and should have strong writing skills. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection process.
The qualified candidate will benefit from working in a collaboration of two very dynamic and multidisciplinary groups in a highly collaborative and stimulating environment and will have access to state of the art laboratories and core-facilities and a competitive salary. For more information about the labs, please visit our websites and review our recent publications at:
The Lashuel laboratory: https://www.epfl.ch/labs/lashuel-lab/
The Radenovic laboratory: https://www.epfl.ch/labs/lben/
We’re always looking for talented PhD students. with following background : optics, electronics, optical and magnetic trapping, cell and molecular biology, polymer physics, nanotechnology, and clean room experience.
Summer Internships- Semster Internships-projects
All interns will be expected to participate in weekly group meetings taking place on Thursday and will be assigned to the project mini meeting ( once per week). Interns’ work schedules can range from part-time to full-time. Internships are UNPAID
To apply: Please send a letter of interest, current resume/CV, and contact information for three references (at least two of which should be able to speak to the candidates academic ability and potential) to Aleksandra Radenovic.