Pasteur Institute

The impact of neonatal microbiota on immune imprinting

Pasteur Institute - Microenvironment & Immunity Unit

Paris, France

The Microenvironment & Immunity Unit is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow to study the weaning reaction and pathological imprinting (Al Nabhani, Immunity 2019, Nature Metabolism in press). The weaning reaction is the vigorous intestinal immune response that is induced by the expansion of the symbiotic microbiota in response to food diversification (from milk to solid food). This weaning reaction is critical in setting the reactivity of the immune system in the long term, and inhibition of the weaning reaction leads to increased immune reactivity and excessive susceptibility to inflammatory pathology in the adult. Microbiota-induced regulatory T cells (Ohnmacht, Science 2015) are induced during the weaning reaction and are required to prevent pathological imprinting.

We are now exploring the quality of the weaning reaction that is necessary to prevent pathological imprinting, as well as the dietary, microbial and immune elements involved. Furthermore, we aim to identify the mode by which the weaning reaction prevents pathological imprinting into adulthood, a form of memory that may be encoded in different types of cells on different molecular substrates. It is also possible that the peripheral and central nervous systems are involved in coding such memory.

In addition, we are collaborating with pediatricians in order to identify biomarkers that can be used to follow the development of the weaning reaction and pathological imprinting in neonates and children. The eventual aim is to develop dietary and microbial measures to prevent pathological imprinting in neonates, as well as therapeutic measures to reverse such pathological imprinting in older children.

In order to investigate these issues, we wish to identify a talented and highly motivated postdoctoral fellow with a strong background in cellular immunology and experience with mouse models. It would be a plus if the candidate had also a background in epigenetics to explore modes of memory. Finally, the candidate should enjoy teamwork, as the complexity of this project requires help from diverse colleagues and collaborators. The position is now open.

Candidate should send their CV and a motivation letter to gerard.eberl@pasteur.fr. A first contact is usually established through a Skype interview, followed by an invitation to give an informal 30 minutes talk to the team at the Institut Pasteur, and half a day discussion with the members of the lab. A decision to hire is then taken after discussion with the team. Salary is established by the Institut Pasteur rules, with the exception of salaries obtained through European grants and the US Pasteur Foundation.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Favorite