Nouvelle offre de thèse dans l’equipe de Ling Peng, département IMMF

Functional dendrimer nanosystems for oligonucleotides delivery

Host institution : Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanoscience de Marseille (CINaM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, FRANCE

Supervisor : Dr. Ling PENG, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

Co-Supervisors: Dr. Carlo Vascotto, University of Udine (UNIUD), Udine, Italy (Academic); Dr. Shalini Andersson, AstraZeneca (AZ), Sweden (Industrial).

Project description

The Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanoscience de Marseille (CINaM), a joint laboratory of Aix-Marseille University and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France is seeking to recruit an Early Stage Research (ESR) Fellow as part of the H2020 MSCA Innovative Training Network “Oligonucleotides for Medical Applications – OLIGOMED”. The successful candidate will join an international cohort of 15 ESR PhD student fellows researching key topics in the use of synthetic oligonucleotides (ONs) for medical applications leading to submission of their PhD thesis. A successful thesis will receive the PhD degree in Chemistry from Aix-Marseille University.

The use of synthetic oligonucleotides (ONs) in the treatment of genetic diseases is a rapidly growing field, and the most promising alternative to gene therapy using small molecules. This multicentre project is structured in four research work packages (WPs). WP1: Design and synthesis of ONs; WP2: Regulation of mRNA expression; WP3: ONs and non-canonical DNA structures in regulation of gene expression; WP4: Delivery of ONs.

The aim of this ESR PhD project will be the design, synthesis and evaluation of dendrimer nanovectors for ON delivery. In this project, various functional amphiphilic dendrimers for ON delivery will be designed and synthesized. These dendrimers will be then studied for their self-assembling and complexing with ONs to form nanosized complexes in the view to protecting ONs from degradation and promoting cellular uptake of ONs. The resulting biological effects of the delivered ONs will be evaluated in vitro using cell-based experiments and in vivo using animal models of cardiovascular diseases, Huntington disease and cancers in collaboration with AstraZenaca (AZ) and Stockholms Laens Landsting (SLL) through secondments in partner organizations.

Host laboratory

Research activities in the group of Dr. Ling PENG in CINaM-CNRS are focused on developing dendrimer nanotechnology-based delivery systems for nucleic acid therapeutics. The laboratory has all the key facilities and expertise in synthesizing, characterizing and evaluating the dendrimer molecules and nanosystems for ON delivery. The host institute has full access to NMR, MS, HPLC, DLS, TEM, cell culture and all the necessary infrastructure and arrangement in place to host the ESR fellow.


This project is carried out in strong collaboration with the following groups, and visits to their laboratories is expected during the project. A willingness to travel and spend time abroad is therefore essential:

  • Carlo Vascotto, University of Udine, Italy;
  • Shalini Andersson, AstraZeneca (AZ), Sweden;
  • Edvard Smith and Prof Rula Zain, Stockholms Laens Landsting (SLL), Sweden.

Eligibility conditions

  • Early-Stage Researchers must, at the time of recruitment, hold a Master’s degree and be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • The Master’s degree must be in chemistry, biology, biotechnology or related field.
  • At the time of recruitment researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.

Required Skills

  • Research experience (e.g. through Master thesis work or research internships) in chemistry and/or biology/biomedical research are required.
  • Proficiency in the English language is required, as well as good communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Successful candidates will need to provide an English test (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge English); see [website] for details of accepted English Language Proficiency tests.


  • A thorough scientific education in the frame of a doctoral training program.
  • The possibility to participate in specific international courses, workshops and conferences.
  • A strong involvement in a European research project with high international visibility.
  • The possibility to perform research visits to internationally renowned research labs in Europe.
  • A prestigious three-year MSCA Fellowship.
  • A competitive salary including mobility and family allowances.


For general information about Oligomed project visit the web page:

For additional information on this project please contact Dr. Ling PENG (

How to apply

To complete your application, you need to send the following documents within ONE pdf file:

  1. Curriculum vitae et studiorum.
  2. A certificate of University examinations taken (with marks).
  3. A final degree certificate translated in English. If, at the time of application, candidates should not be yet in possession of a degree certificate, they can submit it at the time of the examination.
  4. Your statement of interest (limit of 2,500 characters) explaining why you wish to be considered for the fellowship and which qualities and experience you will bring to the role.
  5. Up to two recommendation letters.