You will join the team of the biomedical beamline ID 17 at the ESRF and the Synchrotron Radiation for Biomedicine group. The aim of this PhD project is to investigate the ability of nanoscintillators to potentiate radiotherapy by inducing photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT is a cancer therapy that relies on the photoactivation of non-toxic photosensitizers to elicit an anti-tumor response. A major limitation of PDT is the shallow penetration of light in tissue, which restricts the application of PDT to superficial tumors. In this context, nanoscintillators are emerging radiotherapeutics that down‑convert X‑rays into visible light. When conjugated to photosensitizers, nanoscintillators act as light sources that excite the photosensitizers under X-ray irradiation to induce PDT. To maximize the X-ray absorption contrast between nanoscintillators and tissues, orthovoltage X-rays are ideal. Thus, the monochromatic radiation delivered on the ID17 beamline, offers the unique opportunity to investigate this therapy.
You will first optimize nanoscintillator-photosensitizer conjugates. Then, you will test their ability to potentiate synchrotron radiotherapy in vitro on 3D models of microtumors. Finally, when a nanoconjugate will demonstrate promising effects in vitro, preclinical studies will be performed.
More details about the application procedure on www.innovaxn.eu/for-students/documents/
The successful candidate will be enrolled in the doctoral school EDISCE (Engineering for Health) at the University Grenoble Alpes (UGA) and based full-time at the ESRF (Grenoble, France) and with the STROBE group, other than a 3-month secondment at the company PorphyChem. Furthermore, a varied pedagogical training program will be offered to the successful candidate throughout the 3-year PhD project.
More details on the InnovaXN programme on www.innovaxn.eu
InnovaXN is a Horizon 2020 MSCA COFUND programme providing an opportunity for 40 industrial companies to work with 40 PhD students, performing advanced research and exploiting the unique characterisation techniques of the ESRF and ILL. Through collaborations with industry, innovation will be the central theme of the programme. This will provide a unique cross academic-industry science setting, secondment opportunities and society-relevant research, training the future key researchers able to tackle major research and societal challenges.