Host institution: Institute National de la Sante et de la Recherché Medicale, Paris, France
Host department: INSERM U1266, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurosciences of Paris
Supervisor: Dr. Guillaume van Niel

Project description
Tumor development is increasingly linked to the secretion of vesicles called exosomes. Exosomes that are secreted and exchanged between cancer cells and their surrounding cells can favor migration, metastasis and a pro-tumorigenic micro-environment. The study of the roles of exosomes in vivo remains a challenging task that we can now address using our exosome reporters and our zebrafish models that allow live-visualization of exosome secretion and exosome tracking in vivo.
Our project combines imaging methods prostate cancer cell culture and xenografts in zebrafish brain to study with these tools to the role of exosomes in cancer development and invasion. For this purpose, we will first develop prostate cancer cell lines expressing various exosome reporters to analyze exosome secretion and composition in vitro. We will profit from these cellular model to adapt and improve various strategies developed in the team to modulate exosomes secretion, uptake and functions. In a second time, we will subcutaneously xeno-graft prostate cancer cells in zebrafish strains that are currently developed in the team to stably express exosomes reporters in a cell type specific manner. By expressing distinct exosome reporters in xenografted cancer cells and in host zebrafishes, we will track the exchange of exosomes between xenografted cancer cells and their neighboring cells in zebrafish. These xenograft models will first allow us to map the distribution of exosomes from prostate cancer cells in the whole organism of the zebrafish and to analyze the composition of released exosomes in vivo. Then, we will apply in vivo the tools we are developing to modulate exosomes release, uptake and functions to correlate exosome communication with the capacity of cancer cells to migrate and invade neighboring tissues. This project will shed new light on the role of exosomes during cancer progression in vivo and unveil their relevance in prostate cancer progression.

Type of contract
Fixed-term position for 36 months
Full-time, 39 hrs per week

Required expertise and skills in addition to the general eligibility criteria
We are looking for a very motivated student with previous expertise in exosomes (isolation, analysis…) and intercellular communication and a scientific background integrating good knowledges in cell biology and intracellular trafficking. A previous experience in cell culture, animal handling (preferably zebrafish), molecular biology will be favored. Skills in imaging (photon and electron microscopies) will be appreciated but not mandatory.

Research group van Niel:

Contact details
For more information about this position, please contact:
Dr. Guillaume van Niel: