Enabling local immune modulation using gene-based nanomedicine for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Supervisor: Dr.GiovannaLollo Starting date: October 2022

Keywords: Nanocarriers, nucleic acid, physico-chemical characterization, oral administration, in vivo studies

Laboratory: The LAGEPP (https://lagepp.univ-lyon1.fr/en/home/) is a research laboratory of the University Lyon 1 and the French national Institute for scientific research (CNRS UMR 5007). It develops pluridisciplinary research in chemical engineering, pharmaceutical engineering and biochemical processes. The Gepharm “pharmaceutical engineering” group has a strong expertise in drug delivery. The research encompasses several scientific domains as development of new drug delivery systems, physical chemistry properties, biological in vitro evaluation, in vivo biodistribution and efficacy studies in mice models.

The PhD student will be involved in the ANR project: HyDNano.

Aim of the thesis:

The aim of the thesis project is to develop a multifunctional therapeutic system that will enable oral delivery of oligonucleotides for the treatment of inflammatory bowel pathologies. A translation approach to develop innovative hydrogel-doped nanoparticle platform and to evaluate their efficacy in pre-clinical models will be pursued. Strong preliminary results have been already obtained regarding the development of nanosystems for gene delivery (patent FR2112931) and the establishment of pathological in vivo model. Moreover, in this project a collaborative working group involving researchers form the physico -chmistry area, pharmacists and clinicians has been set up.

The PhD recruited will contribute to evaluate the novel concept of oral nanomedicine for gene delivery, op- timizing the in vitro characterization and carrying out in vivo studies.

Principal activities:

The PhD student will be involved in the:
i) optimization of nanoparticulate systems based on either FDA approved materials or new chemical enti- ties to ensure the correct biodistribution of the systems in vivo;
ii) evaluation of the association, integrity and activity of the encapsulated/associated genetic material;
iii) development of in vitro and in vivo tests to validate the efficacy of the selected systems.
iv) In vivo imaging to study nanoparticles in vivo and apart from imaging procedures and sample collection, ex vivo flow cytometry and microscopy and image data analysis will be also performed.

Required skills:


• Master degree in chemistry, physico-chemistry or biotechnology

Soft skill:

  • Motivated for the position
  • Enthusiastic, ambitious and strong commitment to research
  • Excellent communication, presentation and writing skills in English
  • Good sense for initiative and quality, accuracy and detail, team player. Language: English is required. French is a plus.

The application must include: CV, Motivation Letter, Master degree, two reference letters.

Contact person: giovanna.lollo@univ-lyon1.fr