We are recruiting a highly motivated PhD candidate to join our network! The position is availabe at the Institut national de la sante et de la recherche medicale (INSERM) in Paris (France). 

Our scientific committee is currently reviewing the applications. The 3 top candidates for the position will be invited for a virtual interview where the final candidate will be selected.


A highly stimulating and clinically relevant 36-month project in an inspiring international research team within an interdisciplinary network of scientists, clinicians and industrial partners. Located in Paris, INSERM provides a very stimulating, friendly and international environment.

As part of the ITN INTERCEPT-MDS, the PhD fellow will participate in organized training courses, networking events and expands expertise through stays in the laboratories of other ITN members. 

We offer a full-time employment contract with a competitive salary. Upon completion of the funding from the INTERCEPT-MDS project (20 months) that follows the H2020 MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers and their family status at the time of the recruitment, the full-time employment contract will be set according to INSERM standards based on past working experience.

The INTERCEPT-MDS network:

The highly complementary composition of the INTERCEPT-MDS network will provide all the key expertise and infrastructure to support the scientific excellence of the PhD candidate.

Experts from two sectors (academia and industry) and two research environments (clinical and basic) across Europe will offer a unique multidisciplinary and multisectoral training opportunity in the novel field of disease interception.

Successful applicant will be enrolled in a PhD programme from Université Paris Cité and will receive an outstanding and tailored training designed specifically for the INTERCEPT-MDS fellows, which is currently ongoing.

In addition, the PhD candidate will carry out secondments in other European institutions within the network to provide the needed interactions to achieve research and training excellence, and improve their future career perspectives in academia and the private sector.


We have the following position available:

PhD Project 4 - Single-cell multiomic assessment of precision medicine in myelodysplastic syndromes

This stimulating PhD position is available at INSERM (Paris, France) in the Puissant lab ( Alexandre Puissant is Research Director at INSERM, ERC Starter, with expertise in leukemia, cancer metabolism and in vivo functional screens. The project will be conducted under the supervision of Pr. Raphael Itzykson, a physician-scientist from the team, with expertise in leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (a pre-leukemic condition), genetic heterogeneity of cancer and precision medicine. The PhD candidate will conduct cutting-edge single-cell multi-omic analyses on primary patient cells collected before and during treatment with targeted therapies (IDH1 and IDH2 inhibitors, alone or in combination with the hypomethylating agent azacitidine) in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes accrued to two concomitant multicentric trials from the Groupe Francophone des Myelodysplasies (GFM), the IDIOME (IDH1, NCT03503409) and IDEAL (IDH2, NCT03744390) trials. Accrual for the two trials is nearing completion and thus biobanked samples already available for research. Preliminary clinical data is available for both IDIOME and IDEAL studies.

The project will use recently developed single-cell multi-omic approaches already available in the lab which are now amenable for the study of residual disease to decipher the genetic identity and differentiation status of residual leukemic cells in responders. In parallel, the ESR will optimize the plate-based multi-omic strategy TARGET-Seq to study at single-cell level the genetic architecture and transcriptome of resistant leukemic cells in non-responders from the two studies, to determine the respective role of clonal selection and functional adaptation in drug resistance.    

In addition, with the supervision of Pr R. Itzykson, the ESR will be co-supervised by Dr Matthieu Duchmann, an INSERM/Bettencourt Foundation Fellow with expertise in single-cell sequencing and computational biology, and will benefit from daily technical support from two research engineers with expertise in translational leukemia research and single-cell sequencing.

To further broaden the expertise of the PhD candidate and support the project, two secondments (stays in collaborating laboratories within the network) of 2 months will be an integral part of the PhD project, for instance to strengthen the training in computational biology, and to develop in vivo models of primary patient samples from the IDH studies).

Host institution: Institut national de la sante et de la recherche medicale (INSERM). Paris, France.

Supervisor: Pr. Raphael Itzykson.


Applicants can be of any nationality and must fulfil the following conditions:

• Not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment.

• Be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not have been awarded a doctoral degree at the date of recruitment.

• Have a master’s degree relevant to the chosen position or an equivalent qualification that would entitle them to embark on a doctorate by the time they are recruited. Applications are welcome from candidates who are currently finishing their master studies (state the expected defense date in the application).

• Have a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English.

Successful candidates will have a strong interest in single-cell technologies or translational cancer research. Applicants with solid background in molecular biology and/or computational biology will be given priority. . 

Having an interest on outreach activities and public engagement will be considered a plus.


Our scientific committee is currently reviewing the applications. 

Eligible applications will be ranked on the basis of CVs and merits by a selection committee. The 3 top candidates for the position will be invited for a virtual interview where the final candidate will be selected.

Applicants with a positive evaluation but not selected will be included on a reserve list to cover eventual future positions and might be contacted at a later stage. 


Application deadline
28 December 2022 at 14:00 (CET)

Virtual interviews
January 2023 (exact date to be determined)

Tentative start of fellowship
February 2023