Post-Doc offer (ECP group) – A new class of polymer-peptide bioconjugates as self-assembly modulator

The ECP group is looking for a candidate for a postdoctoral position on the topic:

A new class of polymer-peptide bioconjugates as self-assembly modulator

Project overview :  

Link Post-Doc position

Different strategies have been used to improve peptide properties. A first strategy is to synthesize peptidomimetics such as peptoids or ß-peptids. Another commonly-used strategy is to synthesize polymer-peptide conjugates: a promising class of materials combining the functions and properties of native biomolecules and synthetic polymers in a single hybrid material generating unprecedented properties. The conjugation of a peptide with a suitably selected polymer enhances its properties by addressing some of its limitations such as lack of solubility, pH / T° sensitivity or quick degradation in biological medium. These polymer-peptide biohybrids are currently mostly synthesized either by coupling a preformed end-functional polymer with a reactive moiety of a peptide or by chemical modification of a peptide to covalently attach a radical polymerization initiator and the subsequent radical polymerization.

To the best of our knowledge, anionic ring-opening polymerization (AROP) has almost never been used in peptide grafting from strategies. The aim of this work will be to use commonly-encountered chemical functions in peptide structures as initiators and grafting anchors for the AROP of various cyclic monomers. Peptides functionalized by “grafting from” AROP will expand the scope of graft backbones. In particular it will allow the grafting of heteroatom containing chains, such as poly(thio)ethers, polycarbonates and polyesters opening the way to enhanced performances, such as biodegradability. In addition, AROP will provide a very strict control of the Mnand Ð. To achieve this goal, the group can rely on recently published results. Various strategies to initiate the anionic ring-opening polymerization using unusual initiating groups, such as peptide link,1 carbamates,2 or amine groups have been developed.3

Silk-derived ß-sheet forming sequences will be graft with poly(thio)ether chains. Various architectures and grafting densities will be synthesized. ß-sheet forming sequences will be used as driving force to self-assemble otherwise random coiled poly(thio)ethers. The influence on the nanostructuration of the conjugate architectures and the grafting density will be evaluated. Eventually, the grafting from methods will be extended to the modulation of the self-assembly of medically relevant peptides via macromolecular engineering in order to alter their overall pathological effect.

Profiles : 

– Applicants must have obtained a Ph.D. in macromolecular chemistry prior to starting the position.
– The appointee should either have extensive research experience in organic synthesis and/or polymer synthesis.
– Good written and verbal communication skills are also required.
– Strong teamwork skills are essential.

Duration:

– 1 year
– funding ANR (ANR20-CE06-0012)
– starting September-December 2024

Application:

– Send a cover letter
– a detailed CV
– with the name or addresses of minimum 1 referee

Contact : Nicolas ILLY (Mail)

References

  1. Tezgel, Ö.; Noinville, S.; Bennevault, V.; Illy, N.; Guégan, P. Polymer Chemistry 2019, 10 (6), 776-785.
  2. Hassouna, L.; Illy, N.; Guegan, P. Polymer Chemistry 2017, 8 (27), 4005-4013.
  3. Le Luyer, S.; Guégan, P.; Illy, N. Macromolecules 2022.