PhD student position available in macro-nutrition and signaling regulated RNA metabolism, CIG, UNIL (CH)

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UNIL is a leading international teaching and research institution, with over 5,000 employees and 15,500 students split between its Dorigny campus, CHUV and Epalinges. As an employer, UNIL encourages excellence, individual recognition and responsibility.


Dr. Isabel Lopez-Mejia ( at the Center for Integrative Genomics at UNIL is seeking a PhD student with a strong background and interest in RNA processing, metabolism, physiology and molecular biology.

Job information

Expected start date in position : 01.03.2021 or to be agreed

Contract length : 1 year, renewable maximum 4 years

Activity rate : 100%

Workplace : University of Lausanne, Dorigny

Your responsibilities

The main research focus of our laboratory is to understand the participation of RNA processing in the regulation of energy metabolism in the context of obesity and diabetes.

The successful candidate will work on a project aiming to identify how external stimuli (nutrition, hormones, …) modulate RNA metabolism, in adipose tissue depots, to control whole body energy balance.

We study the molecular pathways connecting energy sensing and cell metabolism with the post-transcriptional control of gene expression. More specifically, we investigate the role of RNA binding proteins in white and brown adipose tissue function, and in the onset of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.

Several aspects of RNA processing will be studied with a special focus on how signal-induced alternative splicing is altered in conditions of obesity and insulin resistance.

We use molecular and cellular biology approaches, as well as transcriptomic and proteomic tools to understand how macronutrition and external stimuli control RNA binding proteins in cellular models of adipocytes and mouse models of diet-induced obesity. For that purpose, we closely collaborate with the UNIL genomic technologies, protein analysis facilities and bioinformatics competence center located on site.

Although most of your time will be dedicated to your research project, you will also be involved in undergraduate teaching (e.g., practical class preparation, literature reading classes).

Your qualifications

  • A master’s degree in molecular biology, cell biology, physiology or a related topic
  • Strong interests/skills in molecular biology, RNA processing, physiology, metabolism, bioinformatics
  • Excellent scientific writing, communication and interpersonal skills, self- motivation and independence
  • Experience in RNA splicing, cell metabolism and mouse physiology is a plus.

What the position offers you

You will be co-supervised by Dr. Isabel Lopez-Mejia and Prof. Lluis Fajas, in a a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment. The working language is English.

The Center for Integrative Genomics encompasses 15 research labs investigating diverse fields related to functional genomics and offers state-of-the-art experimental facilities. Beyond the training in the host laboratory, numerous possibilities exist at UNIL for further professional education (e.g., in bioinformatics, imaging, soft-skills, career development).

Contact for further information

Informal requests for information can be made by email to:

Your application

Deadline : 28.02.2021

To apply you must upload as a single pdf document:

  • a CV, including your grades, lists of publications, conferences, awards and a description of experimental skills.
  • the name and contact details of 2-3 referees
  • a motivation letter in English describing (i) your past research experience and (ii) your scientific interests, and how they are a good match for the host laboratory

Please, send your full application in Word or PDF.
Only applications through this website will be taken into account.

We thank you for your understanding.