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NEW! PhD opportunity in Epidemiology for the REMEDIA project: Air pollution, green space and respiratory health in children

The INSERM is the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research and it is a public research
institute promoted by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Research. INSERM has 368 research
units run by 8181 permanent staff members. Eighty percent of INSERM research units are located in
research hospitals of French universities.

The U1085 Research Institute for Environmental and Occupational Health (IRSET) is a
mutlidisciplinary institute located in Rennes, France. Within IRSET, team 9: 3ERD "Exposure
Assessment and Epidemiological Research on Environment, Reproduction and Development"
research that is conducted in an interdisciplinary framework through complementary expertise in
epidemiology, exposure assessment, public health and clinical research.

We are looking for a PhD candidate to join our dynamic teams to work on the REMEDIA project, a
5-y funded project by H2020. The objective of REMEDIA is to determine how and to what extent the
exposomes like air pollutants/greenness affect the way respiratory health develops and evolves.

The aim of this thesis is to study the effects of the environmental factors on the respiratory health
among children since pregnancy till age of 12 years in the Pelagie birth cohort. The environmental
factors studied will include air pollutants such as PM2.5, black carbon and NO2 and green space
surrounding the residential area measured using the NDVI and proximity to different type of land uses.
The respiratory symptoms and disease studied will be wheezing, rhinitis, eczema, chest tightness,
cough/phlegm production, asthma and others. The hypothesis is that exposure to environmental factors
is associated with increase in the incidence of respiratory disorders among children. We will also assess
how the exposure to environmental factors affect the symptoms trajectories.

The student is expected to participate actively to the analyses, do a systematic review of the literature,
data management and analysis, coordination of data collection and writing scientific papers. An
epidemiological background is required.

The post-doctoral researcher will be located at the IRSET in Rennes, a very nice city!

Main duties and tasks

  • Bibliographic research on the epidemiology of respiratory disorders among children,
    environmental factors for the incidence of respiratory symptoms in recent decades.
  • Cleaning the database (collected dataset) and creating the variables of interest, with
    developing a report describing the steps undertaken.
  • Reflection on the statistical analysis strategy.
  • Writing up abstracts for presentation of results at scientific conferences.
  • Writing up at least 3 scientific articles on the effect of the environmental factors on incidence
    of respiratory symptoms/disorders.
  • Participation in the courses and training of the doctoral school and active participation in the
    scientific life of the team and host unit.
  • Link with other partners.

Training and experience

  • Master’s degree in Epidemiology, Public Health, Biostatistics or related discipline.
  • Experience in environmental epidemiology.
  • Knowledge of statistical analysis methods used in epidemiology using R.


  • Excellent organization and communication skills.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Team player, yet capable of working autonomously.
  • Rational thinker.


  • Proficiency in English (written and spoken).


  • Duration: 3 years.
  • Starting date: 1st of January 2021
  • Contract: the candidate will be hired on a fixed-term contract in accordance with the
    French legislation and will be registered at the Rennes 1 University.

How to apply
Applicants must send a CV and a cover letter to benedicte [dot] jacqueminatinserm [dot] fr. The closing date for
the receipt of applications is 31st of October 2021.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

NEW! Thesis Offer: PhD student position in HRMS-based exposomics at EHESP School of Public Health (France) / RECETEOX (Czech Republic)

The Environment and Health Research Laboratory (LERES) is the analytical platform of EHESP School of Public Health (Rennes, France). It is one of both analytical platforms of the Research Institute for Environmental and Occupational Health (IRSET Inserm UMR 1085), which is one of Europe's leading exposomics research centres performing cutting edge research in genomics, transcriptomics, analytical chemistry, toxicology, exposure science, epidemiology and risk assessment. The LERES facility is fully equipped with cutting edge mass spectrometry instruments (MS/MS and HRMS) to assess human exposure to inorganic and organic mixtures.

RECETOX is an independent department of Masaryk University’s Faculty of Science in Brno, Czech Republic, celebrating more than 35 years of academic and research excellence in the fields of environmental and health. Although it initially focused on the interactions among chemicals, environments, and biological systems, and their consequences on local, regional, and global levels, the Centre’s current, and long-term strategic vision is to become an international center of excellence, supporting research and education focused on unravelling the role of environmental factors in human health, aging, and wellbeing, developing innovative approaches to environmental and health protection, and tools for prevention, diagnostics, and intervention.

Description of the position
Chronic exposure of the general population to complex mixtures of chemicals is suspected of contributing to many adverse health outcomes such as non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) which are the major causes of premature death worldwide. Hence, deciphering the human chemical exposome (i.e. characterizing chemical mixtures and their transformation products accumulated in human biological matrices) and identifying the relevant chemical mixtures associated with NCDs would be a key step towards improving health and potentially reduce the overall burden of NCDs.
To this aim, innovative holistic methodologies methods are acutely needed to make a step change in human exposure assessment and capture the high diversity of exposures human is facing daily. Importantly, many NCDs could have their origins in utero (developmental origins of health and disease – DOHaD); it is therefore essential to focus on one of the most critical and vulnerable periods of development, i.e. the prenatal period.
The main objective of the PhD will be to develop a robust standardized methodology to apply suspect screening and non-targeted analyses based on high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) to profile placenta samples from mother-child cohort studies. Profiling placenta using untargeted methods offers many advantages to monitor fetal exposure as many xenobiotics have been shown to accumulate over time in the placenta.
Initial work performed in both teams has ascertain that our HRMS-based chemical exposomics methods can detect low levels of chemicals and endogenous metabolites in human placentas. This PhD will benefit from a strong support network, including epidemiologists and biostatisticians at Irset UMR 1085, midwife at University Hospital of Rennes which have expertise in placenta, and international collaborators to use state of the art computational annotation workflow.

We seek a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a master degree in analytical chemistry and initial expertise in the area of HRMS-based exposomics, metabolomics, or analytical chemistry. Essential skills for this job include experience in biological sample preparation techniques; practical expertise in liquid chromatographic methods and/or gas chromatography.

Location: LERES, EHESP School of Public Health (Rennes, France)

Contract: Short-term contract (3 years)

Closing date: 30 June 2021

Please submit a single PDF containing your current curriculum vitae, contact information for three professional references, and a cover letter describing your interest in the position and how your qualifications meet the criteria outlined above to Dr Arthur David (arthur [dot] davidatehesp [dot] fr). Interested applicants can email Dr Arthur David for further information.

NEW! Post-doctoral Position - Innate Immune Mechanisms Associated With Viral Persistence In The Human Testis

We offer a 30 months- postdoctoral position in a multidisciplinary environment that will provide opportunities for impactful research. The project will build on state-of-the-art methodology including single-cell RNA seq combined with unique human tissue culture, and you will have access to newly generated genomic data. Since this is a collaborative project, you will interact with several world-class researchers at Pasteur Institute in Paris and Geneva University. You will enjoy a large degree of autonomy to organize your work. The institute will support the career development of candidate who will demonstrate their ability to successfully lead research.

Read the complete job profile here:


Contract: 30 months
Starting date: January 2022