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Ligand-gated ion channels such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are membrane proteins that perform a unique function: transducing chemical signals into electric impulses in neurons or muscular cells. In this project the candidate will use molecular simulations to understand in detail the complex landscape that these proteins navigate during their functional motions, as well as the modulation of these motions by natural and exogenous molecules. This completely interdisciplinary project will leverage state-of-the-art methods in molecular simulation, and potentially trigger new developments, driven by major biomedical questions.
The work is fully funded for three years. The lab offers an extremely rich and supportive scientific environment. Dr Hénin has expertise on the science of ligand-gated channels as well as state-of-the-art simulation methods. There are local computational resources (CPUs and GPUs), and an initial allocation of computer time is already secured at national supercomputer centers.