EFS researcher position

Researcher (M/F) – Full time

Permanent contract – Besançon

To integrate the Research Unit UMR1098 RIGHT

Background/Topic: The research Unit UMR1098 RIGHT was created at the Etablissement Français du Sang (French transfusion public service) Bourgogne Franche-Comté (EFS-BFC) jointly with the University of Franche-Comté (UFC). The unit was approved by INSERM in 2001 and labeled “UMR” (unité mixte de recherche, i.e., a unit with three supervising institutions: INSERM, EFS and UFC). UMR1098 RIGHT is interested in the study of the immune system (innate immunity and T lymphocytes) to identify biomarkers or develop innovative drugs for 3 major groups of pathologies or clinical situations: transplantation, inflammatory autoimmune diseases and cancers. The unit has recognized expertise in cell and gene engineering. The RIGHT unit is made of 2 teams: the team “Autoimmunity, Transplantation and Inflammation (ATI)” (team leader: Dr Sylvain PERUCHE) and the team “Immuno-Molecular Therapies in Cancer (TIM-C)” (team leader: Prof Olivier Adotevi). Each team consists of several research groups organized by topics.

Main goals of the different research groups:

  • Themes of the team ATI:

Modulation of immune responses (group leaders: S Perruche & P Saas): this is mainly achieved by developing new therapeutic approaches based on the immunomodulatory properties of apoptotic cells or efferocytosis. This is evaluated in experimental autoimmune models, including collagen-induced arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, systemic sclerosis or xenogeneic GvHD.

Immunoregulation and immunopathologies (group leader: B Bonnotte): this group studies two main inflammatory disorders, namely giant cell arteritis and immune thrombocytopenia. Their goal is to identify biomarkers in these pathologies and understand the pathophysiology of these diseases. They develop an innovative cell-based therapy based on a myeloid suppressive cell subset, called HuMoSC (Human Monocyte Suppressive Cells).

Inflammation and alloreactivity in transplantation and transfusion (group leader: D Ducloux): this group is focused on two main transplantation settings: kidney transplantation and its associated complications (i.e., infections, cancers and cardiovascular diseases), as well as allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation and its main complication (graft-versus-host disease [GvHD]). Their goal is to identify biomarkers in these pathologies. Currently, they focus on the impact of endotoxin translocation in partnership with the LabEx LipSTIC (LipoproteinS and health: prevention and Treatment of Inflammatory diseases and Cancer).

Engineering and skin biology (group leader: P Muret). The goal of this group is to develop skin substitutes in order to improve wound healing. Concerning basic science, they study fibroblast biology and their relationship with fibrosis.

  • Themes of the team TIM-C:

Autophagy, epigenetics, cancer and T-responses (group leader: M Boyer-Guittaut): this group characterizes the mechanisms regulating autophagy and leading to tumor immune escape, or an enhanced tumor antigen presentation and thus antitumor T cell responses. The significant results obtained by this team consist of the discovery of GABARAPL1, one of the ATG8 homolog in mammals, and have demonstrated that this protein can be conjugated to autophagosomes and play a major role in mitophagy. They also develop several tools to study epigenetics mechanism during epithelial to mesenchymal transition or after checkpoint inhibitor treatment.

Biomarkers for cancer immunotherapy (group leader: Christophe Borg): this group evaluates molecular signaling pathways involved in the regulation of host-graft-tumor interactions. Initially, the following molecular signaling pathways were proposed: STAT3, CX3CL1/CX3CR1, neuropilin-2, angiopoietin-2 and IL-21. This group works mainly on colon cancer.

Tumor antigens and T-cell based immunotherapies (group leader: O Adotevi): this group develops immunological therapeutic strategies, associated with the promotion of clinical trials based on immunological and cell therapies. Among the immunological strategies, they develop cancer vaccine based on telomerase-derived peptides and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. In parallel, they identify tumor-reactive helper epitopes to study antitumor CD4+ T cell responses. The main cancers studied are lung cancer, myeloid leukemia and a rare leukemia derived from plasmacytoid dendritic cell leukemia (called Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm).