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Postdoctoral Researcher (18 months) : Development of 2D and 3D cell culture of hemolymphatic cells from oyster Crassostrea gigas.

Postdoctoral contract

We are seeking a talented candidate in cellular biology to join our team of marine biologists specialized in responses and adaptation of marine invertebrates to global changes. This postdoctoral project aims to develop and standardize a reliable marine 2D and 3D cell culture using hemocytes of the oyster Crassostrea gigas, as a new tool for marine ecotoxicological studies, replacing animal studies, and for studies on human pathologies as cancer. This new marine Cg cell model need to be controlled at several duration of the culture by analysis of living cells (imaging of structure, shape, migration), purity of cell types (biomarker of hemocytes), cell functionality and metabolism (biochemical and immune activities). We will compare different modes of culture (changes in physical conditions with/without biological adjuvants) from rapid to long-term culture duration. This 2D and 3D Cg cell model has a great innovation potential for bioassays, since it will be used to identify, quantify and predict cellular mechanisms impacted by environmental changes such as heat and acidification (future climate scenarios), harmful algal blooms (causing mortality in raring areas) and microplastics (emergent pollution). The model could also be used to explore some intracellular pathways which could help to better understand some human pathologies.

The project MarineCell aims to to use marine invertebrate 2D and 3D cellular models as new models in industry, R&D and in marine and human biology research. At the LEMAR laboratory, we study the marine bivalves adaptation to climate changes at both the individual and molecular levels [2–6]. However, for C. gigas, we lack an in vitro cellular model to identify the cellular mechanism. Indeed, there is as yet no marine invertebrate cellular culture model of a duration of more than a week, whereas marine fish cell lines and spheroids already exist [14]. This post-doctoral project proposes an innovative approach to develop the 2D and 3D C. gigas hemocyte culture by playing on the physical (T°C, pH, gaz, salts, osmolarity) and biological (extracts; adjuvants) cells microenvironment. The aim is to develop 2D culture model (hemocytes) and 3D model benefiting from innovations in health biology (Incucyte© and Pico© technologies). These 2D and 3D have a great application potential in private and academic research, to identify the marine bivalve responses to emergent contaminants (microplastics, toxic algae
[7]), pollutants [8]) and to environmental changes [2,4,5,9], as an alternative solution to animal models in ecotoxicology.

Objective 1: Development of 2D and 3D cellular cultures : advantages/disadvantages and potential applications.
- Development of C. gigas hemocytes 2D cellular cultures and optimization of the 2D culture characterization : hemocytes quantity, viability, structural state, differentiation, proliferation,
metabolism, functionality.
- Development of 3D cellular cultures (spheroids) of C. gigas hemocytes and cardiomyocytes - Comparative analysis of the culture medium changes (physical microenvironment and biological
composition) on the 2D and 3D cultures by using functional and cellular imagery (« Live-cell analysis »).
- Development of standardized on 2D and 3D cellular models.

Objective 2: Define the application potential of 2D cellular model of C. gigas hemocytes to understand the cancer biology
By its way of living in the intertidal zones, the C. gigas oyster has particular capacities of adaptation to extreme changes of the environment in which it lives (large temperature variations of temperature, of pH, of salinity, of oxygen, of nutrients), and we demonstrated it is naturally able to reprogram its metabolism towards Warburg [1,2,10]. The Warburg effect is one of the cancer cell characteristics in Human [11]. It’s a real metabolic reprogramming towards aerobic glycolysis, allowing cancer cells to satisfy the energy needs depending on the tumor microenvironment [12,13]. The 2D C. gigas hemocytes cultures represent an interesting model to study the Warburg effect in microenvironment conditions so extreme than they couldn’t be explored in vertebrate cellular models. The 2D hemocytes could be become a new Warburg model for cancer biology [1]. This objective 2 aims to:
- Develop metabolic biomarkers of Warburg (genes expression, proteins, metabolites, OXPHOS function, glycolysis, oxidative stress)
- Characterize the impact of physical conditions (temperature, pH, oxygen, salts, osmolarity) and biological (extracts, adjuvants) of the cellular microenvironment on Warburg metabolism.

PhD in Cellular biology
- Required skills : cellular culture, biochemistry, statistics, excellent English oral and writing skills, autonomy and aptitude for team work
- Preferable skills : experience in live-cell analysis (seahorse © ; Incucyte© ou Pico ©) would be an advantage

The candidate will have stayed 18 months minimum out of France between 1 May 2017 and the project starting, and have a PhD not more than 3 years.

18 Months

Université de Bretagne Occidentale, IUEM (Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer), laboratory LEMAR (Laboratoire de l’Environnement Marin) located in Plouzané technopole, near Brest, France.

Applications have to be sent before 15 June 2021 to stephanie.madec@univ-brest.fr et charlotte.corporeau@ifremer.fr and include:
– a motivation letter
– a complete CV
– name and contact details of at less three referents


More informations :

Download the job’s profile pdf file.