LURE, Orsay, France


      A postdoctoral position to work on an EC-funded project described below is available at LURE from October 2001. The candidate should be a macromolecular crystallographer, who is also a good biochemist with experience in the expression and purification of proteins. The EC project involves partners from 10 different groups, in France and other countries, including a major vaccine company (Chiron, Sienna, Italy). The candidate will perform some of the work in the laboratories of other partners, in particular at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The fellowship is on the French scientist scale.

      One of the major toxins secreted by Bordetella pertussis, the infectious agent of whooping cough, is the adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA). This large, multidomain protein has the capability to insert into the membrane of target cells and to translocate one of its domains, the adenylate cyclase catalytic domain, into the cell. The CyaA protein can be detoxified, while still retaining its penetration and translocation capacity, by site-directed mutagenesis. This detoxified molecule is highly immunogenic and is at the centre of a concerted effort to develop a polyvalent vector for vaccines against various diseases such as HIV and cancer, funded by the EC. Immunological results obtained so far are extremely promising, thus making the project particularly exciting. The candidate will work on the purification, crystallisation and structure determination of defined domains of the toxin molecule, in particular the adenylate cyclase domain, in order to optimise the design of vaccine candidates.

      LURE is the French National Synchrotron Facility situated in the campus of Orsay University, near Paris. Scientists working there, while obliged to apply for beam-time, do have priviliged access to available beamlines. There is up-to-date equipment for protein purification and crystallisation, as well as good computing facilities.

      Interested candidates should send me a full CV with names of referees. Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information.


Anita Lewit-Bentley

LURE, Bāt 209D

Centre Universitaire Paris-Sud

BP. 34, 91898 Orsay cedex



Tel: (33-1) 64 46 80 50

Fax: (33-1) 64 46 41 48

e-mail: Anita Bentley