Skip to main content

A two-year postdoctoral position to study the specific metabolism of bone marrow adipocytes and its impact on surrounding cells

Site: Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology (IPBS)
City: Toulouse, France
Type of Contract: 2-year postdoctoral contract 
Remuneration: According to the CNRS index grid and experience
Principal investigators: Camille Attané and Catherine Muller

Contact : Application should be sent to Camille Attané ( and Catherine Muller ( before January the 30th 

Title of the project

Metabolic specificities of bone-marrow adipocytes and their impact on surrounding cells

Context and project

Our team is involved in deciphering the link between adipose tissue, obesity and cancer ( We have been among the first team to show that adipocytes present in the tumor microenvironment are key actors in tumor progression at primary sites mainly in breast and prostate cancer (see for example, Dirat et al, Cancer Research, 2011 ; Laurent et al, Nature Communications, 2016 ;  Wang et al, JCI insight, 2017 on the website). A metabolic crosstalk happens between cancer cells and adipocytes: cancer cells induce the lipid release by adipocytes which are transferred and used by cancer cells to induce tumor progression. We recently start an entirely new project on the role of bone-marrow adipocytes on bone metastasis funded by INCA (French National Cancer Institute) in 2020.

To start with, we recently set up a unique collaboration with clinicians to obtain and characterize for the first-time human BM-Ads using a combination of proteomic and lipidomic approaches (Attané et al, Cell Reports 30:949-958, 2020). We found that BM-Ads morphologically resemble classical white adipocytes, secrete similar levels of the main adipokines (adiponectin, leptin), but clearly display distinct lipid metabolic features with an enrichment in proteins involved in cholesterol synthesis, transport and hydrolysis as well as metabolization. These results suggest that BM-Ads could be an important and underexplored source of lipid metabolites (particularly cholesterol metabolites) in the bone marrow microenvironment that could regulate both physiological processes such as hematopoiesis as well as pathophysiological processes such as bone metastasis. The aim of this project is to decipher the specific metabolism of BM-Ads (by studying the nature of lipid released by primary human BM-Ads and how they are released) and the metabolic effect on surrounding cells behavior. We will also assess how the BM-Ad metabolism is affected by obesity and ageing, two conditions linked to increased bone marrow adiposity and effects on physiological as well as pathophysiological processes.

Job description

We are looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher with a specific interest in cell biology and lipid cellular metabolism. General responsibilities include design, implement and interpret experiments, both independently and in collaboration, and communicate research and findings in a clear and concise manner.


Team consortium and environment

The project will be developed at IPBS with students and engineers working on the project but also in collaboration with the proteomic (proteomic platform at IPBS) and lipidomic (Metabolomic Facility, Toulouse, France, facilities 

Qualification required

- A PhD degree preferably in biochemistry or cell biology or physiology
- Hands-on experience of cellular biology, tissue and cell imaging will be prioritized. An independent use of the confocal microscope as well as competencies in image analysis is expected. Expertise in lipid metabolism will be appreciated. 
- Strong computer literacy including experience with interpretation of omic data and image analysis,. Mastery of R would be a plus.
- High levels of initiative, autonomy and the ability to assume a high level of responsibility
- Strong interpersonal and mentoring skills needed to effectively deal with students and people of the collaborating groups
- Proficiency in English.

Additional qualifications desired

- Experience in in vitro evaluation of hematopoiesis (clonogenic assays, identification of hematopoietic differentiation by multi-color flow cytometry) will be a plus
- Experience in editing and writing original research articles and grant applications is an asset



Starting on February 2021, the job position is funded for 24 months by an INCA (Institut National du Cancer) grant.
The application should be written in English and includes:
1. Letter of motivation with a short description of the applicant’s previous research and why
the applicant considers her/himself a good match for the position (1-2 pages).
2. Curriculum vitae, including a description of relevant skills and experiences, as well as a full
publication list.
3. Copy of PhD diploma.
4. Names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers to 2-3 references.


Flow the link to apply for these position:   before February the 17th.