Advancing Epigenetics Towards Systems Biology

PhD position on epigenetics and nuclear organization in Drosophila

Institute of Human Genetics


A postdoctoral position is available from October 2018 to study the relation between epigenetics and 3D genome organization in Drosophila in the lab of Giacomo Cavalli.

Drosophila has been a tremendously successful model system for the study of genomics and epigenomics. Our lab has uncovered the spatial organizational principles of the fly genome and shown that Polycomb proteins can mediate epigenetic inheritance through development and, under certain circumstances, transgenerationally. The PhD project will combine epigenomics and superresolution-microscopy with the power of genome engineering techniques and should provide fundamental mechanistic insights into the architectural function of chromosomal elements that are essential to stabilize Polycomb-mediated gene silencing. The work, in the framework of an ERC-funded project, will be performed in the laboratory of Giacomo Cavalli (IGH, Montpellier) under the co-supervision of Bernd Schuettengruber (a senior researcher providing expertise in epigenomic approaches and the study of the mechanisms of chromatin repression by Polycomb proteins) and in close collaboration with the laboratory of Marcelo Nollman (CBS, Montpellier), providing expertise in superresolution microsocopy techniques.

IGH is a flagship institute for life science research and is located in a beautiful region in the French Mediterranean coast. It offers state of the art equipments and facilities in a top-notch international environment.

> For more information, see websites

Selected papers from the lab

  1. Schuettengruber, B., Bourbon, H., Di Croce, L., and Cavalli, G. (2017). Genome Regulation by Polycomb and Trithorax: 70 years and counting. Cell 171, 34-57
  2. Bonev, B., Mendelson Cohen, N., Szabo, Q., Fritsch, L., Papadopoulos, G., Lubling, Y., Xu, X., Lv, X., Hugnot, J.-P., Tanay, A., and Cavalli, G. (2017). Multi-scale 3D genome rewiring during mouse neural development. Cell 171, 557-572.e24.
  3. Ciabrelli, F., Comoglio, F. Fellous, S., Bonev, B., Ninova, M., Szabo, Q., Xuéreb, A., Klopp, C., Aravin, A. Paro, R., Bantignies, F., and Cavalli, G. Stable Polycomb-dependent transgenerational inheritance of chromatin states in Drosophila (2017). Nature Genet, doi:10.1038/ng.3848.
  4. Loubiere, V., Delest, A., Thoma, A., Bonev, B., Schuettengruber, B., Sati, S., Martinez, AM., and Cavalli, G. (2016). Coordinate redeployment of PRC1 proteins suppresses tumor formation during Drosophila development. Nature Genet, 48, 1436-1442, doi:10.1038/ng.3671.
  5. Sexton, T., and Cavalli, G. (2015). The role of chromosome domains in shaping the functional genome. Cell, 160, 1049-1059
  6. Sexton, T., Yaffe, E., Kenigsberg, E., Bantignies, F., Leblanc, B., Hoichman, M., Parrinello, H., Tanay, A., and Cavalli, G. (2012). Three-dimensional folding and functional organization principles of the Drosophila genome. Cell 148, 458-472


Candidates must and be highly motivated and hardworking. Experience in fly genetics, epigenetics, molecular and cell biology, epigenomic analysis of transcription, epigenomics, and 3D genomics data, will be a plus.


French PhD salary rate (roughly 1400 €/month net), allowing a comfortable living at Montpellier rates.

Application details

Please email your CV, a statement of research interests, and arrange for two/three reference letters to be sent independently by the reviewers directly to the email address:
Giacomo Cavalli - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Relevant web link:

Starting date: 1st October 2018
Deadline for applications: 30th April 2018