July 2023

One PhD position is currently available in our laboratory

Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) allow the intracellular delivery of cargo molecules that are hooked to them. They are used in biology and medicine for therapeutic or research purposes. CPPs are taken up by cells by direct translocation across the plasma membrane (1) and by endocytosis (2), the two processes occurring concomitantly (see this movie). CPPs can be found in anti-cancer (3) and anti-microbial peptides but also in important signaling proteins such as homeoproteins. Despite their potential practical applications, the mechanisms of CPP entry inside cells are ill-defined and even controversial. The current focus of our laboratory is to characterize the mechanism of CPP cell entry via direct translocation or via endocytosis and how they escape endosomes when they use this later entry route. We also investigate how physiological molecules that naturally bear cell-penetrating sequences, such as homeoproteins, enter cells. Please visit our research page for more information on our past and present research.

We are now seeking to recruit a highly motivated PhD student to investigate the mechanistic aspects of CPP entry into cells. The PhD students will in particular work on a newly identified endocytic pathway that we have discovered (2) and that needs now to be further characterized at the molecular, mechanistic, and physiological levels using state-of-the art imaging, biochemical and genetic approaches. This position is available immediately, for up to five years.

To apply, please provide:

  • CV (one page max)
  • Names, emails and addresses of 2-3 reference persons
  • Letter of intent (one page max). Your past experience can be succinctly described but I am more interested in why you want to join my laboratory, what you want to investigate in my research group and how you would like to achieve this. Also detail why you think you are a good candidate for these PhD positions.

Important note: applications that do not strictly abide to the above instructions will be automatically discarded.


  1. Genetic, cellular, and structural characterization of the membrane potential-dependent cell-penetrating peptide translocation pore eLife 10:e69832 (2021)
  2. The endocytic pathway taken by cationic substances requires Rab14 but not Rab5 and Rab7. Cell Reports 37:109945 (2021)
  3. TAT-RasGAP317-326 kills cells by targeting inner-leaflet-enriched phospholipids. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 117:31871-31881 (2020)