Job ID: 64232

PhD position in integrative neuroscience/neurobiology of stress

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 1 February 2022

Contract Length: 36 months

City: Tours

Country: France

Institution: INSERM UMR 1253, iBrain - University of Tours, France



Early-life adversity (ELA) is indisputably one of the strongest predictors of mental health issues, including anxiety and mood disorders. It considerably affects the clinical outcome of psychiatric patients, with a younger age of onset, greater symptom severity, increased comorbidities, poorer treatment response, and greater risk for suicide. This highlights the urgent need to better understand how ELA can long-lastingly modify brain development and promote the emergence of psychopathologies. Severe adverse events occurring during critical periods of development, during which personality traits, attachment patterns, cognitive functions and emotional responses are shaped by experiences, likely have enduring effects in the brain.

This project aims at further characterizing these effects using rodent models of ELA, at the cellular and molecular level. In particular our goal is to study how memory traces of trauma and adversity are formed and stabilized by activity-dependent forms of structural plasticity, and how they can contribute to the behavioral phenotypes induced by ELA. The PhD student will use integrative techniques in mice, including activity-dependent neuronal tagging approaches, optogenetics and calcium imaging in behaving animals, immunohistology, and behavioral paradigms to study stress-related phenotypes.

Host laboratory:

UMR INSERM 1253, Imaging and Brain – University of Tours, France. It regroups 3 research teams (the host team, “Neuro-Functional Psychiatry”, team “Neurogenomics and Neural Physiopathology”, and team “Imaging, Biomarkers and Therapy”). Using translational approaches that integrate clinical and preclinical models, its objectives are to study the pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in psychiatric disorders.


The candidate should

  • Hold a master degree in Biology, Neuroscience or Psychology
  • Have a strong interest in the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders
  • Ideally have prior experience with rodent behavioral studies
  • Send a CV with at least a reference to