LaCaixa INPhiNIT INCOMING Doctoral Fellowships – IIB SANT PAU

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    04/02/2021 14:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Not funded by an EU programme
    Spain, Barcelona
    Institut de Recerca Hospital de Sant Pau - IIB Sant Pau

LaCaixa INPhiNIT INCOMING Doctoral Fellowship Programme Call 2021

IIB Sant Pau hosting offer:

Description of the Programme

The doctoral fellowship programme INPhINIT “la Caixa” is devoted to attracting talented Early-Stage Researchers of any nationality who wish to pursue doctoral studies in Spain or Portugal. Sponsored by ”la Caixa” Foundation, it is aimed at supporting the best scientific talent and fostering innovative and high-quality research by recruiting outstanding international students and offering them an attractive and competitive environment for conducting research of excellence.

35 PhD fellowships for researchers willing to carry out their PhD project in research centres accredited with the Spanish Seal of Excellence Severo Ochoa, María de Maeztu or the National Institute of Health Carlos III and Portuguese units accredited as “excellent” or “exceptional” according to the evaluation of the Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia.

The doctoral INPhINIT fellowships offer a highly competitive salary. In addition, researchers establish a personal career development plan including trasnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility opportunities, and attend a full range of complementary training workshops.


IIB Sant Pau Hosting Offer

The Institute d'Investigació Biomèdica Sant Pau (IIB SANT PAU) acts as host organisation within the INPhINIT Incoming programme by offering two prestigious PhD scholarships in which top researchers may develop their doctoral thesis project. IIB SANT PAU has been accredited with the Spanish seal of excellence by the Instituto Carlos III.

INPhINIT doctoral scholarships offer a highly competitive salary and complementary opportunities for training in transversal skills (through annual training sessions), temporary stays in the industry, incentives at the end of the thesis, and a set of aspects that place these scholarships among the most attractive and complete in Europe.


Two scholarships at IIB SANT PAU:

Group Leader: Dr. Maria Virtudes Céspedes


Research project: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is an aggressive malignancy with an increased prevalence and low survival rates (20% in 1 year of diagnosis). Most pancreatic cancer patients (85%) present vascular, lymphatic and peritoneal metastases at diagnosis. Chemokine CXCR4 receptor is overexpressed mainly in cancer stem cells in several neoplasias, including PC tumors. CXCR4 expression in tumors is significantly associated with advanced PC stage and low survival rates. Current treatment options, especially the combination of gemcitabine with other rational drugs increases prognosis but confers high rate of systemic  toxicity and acquisition of resistant. Our purpose is to evaluate the tumor efficacy of a nanoconjugate T22- OGEM as vehicle for selective  delivering of gemcitabine (GEM), through CXCR4  internalization, in pancreatic cancer stem cells. This nanoconjugate (NC) will be produced, characterized and evaluated functionally  in in vitro models of PC and then, will be evaluate  its  therapeutic effect and the molecular mechanism/s  underlying  cell death induction,  as antitumor and antimetastatic agent in combination with nab-placlitaxel, or combined with SBRT radiotherapy, using  patient derived xenografts (PDXs) generated by orthotopic tumor implantation of tissue from patient undergoing  surgery at our hospital.

Research Group description: The pancreatic cancer area within Dr. Céspedes´ group is composed by a Biologist, a Biotechnologist and a lab technician with considerable experience in basic and translational research using experimental oncology mouse models, and four clinicians: two digestive surgeons, a pathologist, and a radio-oncologist with strong experience in surgical approaches in gastrointestinal oncology, diagnosis and molecular analysis of colorectal and pancreatic  cancer, and prognostic and predictive factors associated with gastrointestinal tumors.

Job position description: The laboratory of  Dr. Mª  Virtudes Céspedes at IIB Sant Pau in Barcelona, is seeking a highly motivated  predoctoral fellow with a Master’s degree in chemical/pharmacological/biological science.

The fellow will lead an ISCIII-funded project that focuses on the development of novel therapeutic  strategies for Pancreatic cancer. The project build on previous work characterizing the use of nanoparticles as vehicles  for targeting therapy against metastatic cancer cells,  and the evaluation of the antitumor and antimetastatic effects of different nanoconjugates in Pancreatic cancer. This project will involve  interactions with physicians an scientists at IIB.Sant Pau, as well as pharmaceutical companies.

Studies will be performed in combination with available in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models (e.g. cell lines, human and mouse pancreatic cancer organoids and patient derived xenografts models). The candidate will obtain research experience in cell, molecular and  cancer biology, and  He/she gain working  knowledge on oncology translational research, in vivo oncology models (Xenograft/PDX) and preclinical drug development.


Group Leader: Dr. Àlex Bayés


Àlex Bayes Lab Web: www.molecular-synapse.org

Research Project: There is a growing body of data suggesting a central role of the synapse in psychiatric disorders. The existence of synaptic diseases or “synaptopathies” is increasingly accepted amongst the neuroscience community. Our studies on the human synapse have revealed it as a ‘hotspot’ for nervous system diseases, especially Intellectual Disability, Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders (please see our papers in Nature NeuroscienceMolecular PsychiatryBiological Psychiatry, Journal of Neuroscience, Nature Communications or Nature Reviews in Neuroscience; full publication list in lab web: www.molecular-synapse.org). Nevertheless, for most synaptopathies the underlying molecular pathophysiology is unknown. In this project we will investigate how dysfunctions of synaptic molecular mechanisms contribute to mental and behavioural disorders. We will focus in the forms of autism and intellectual disability caused by the genes SYNGAP1 and SHANK2. Identification of the key synaptic molecular pathways altered in these conditions will not only help us better understand the molecular roots of these conditions but also identify key proteins and signalling pathways for pharmacological intervention.

Research Group Description: The Molecular Physiology of the Synapse Laboratory, led by Dr. Àlex Bayés, was established in May 2012. We are focused in understanding the organization and dynamics of the proteome of excitatory synapses. We want to unravel how synaptic proteome dynamics orchestrates synaptic plasticity, ultimately contributing to cognition and behaviour. Furthermore, we want to understand how disruption of normal molecular synaptic physiology contributes to cognitive disorders such as Intellectual Disability or Autism. As we are interested in understanding the functioning of the synaptic proteome as a whole we take advantage of a Systems Biology experimental approach, mainly involving mass spectrometry-based proteomics and bioinformatics.

Job position description: The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop an innovative research project in the field of molecular neurosciences. He/she will investigate the synaptic molecular mechanism relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders causing intellectual disability and autistic features.

The PhD student will join a young and dynamic basic research group at the Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, one of the largest and newest biomedical research institutes in the area of Barcelona. This group is part of the Neuroscience Research Area of the Institute, which includes research laboratories working on Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Psychiatric Disorders, Neuropharmacology, Neuroimaging, Down Syndrome or Neuromuscular Disorders amongst others.

He/she will receive intensive training in molecular and cellular neuroscience research as well as in related disciplines, such as Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, Proteomics, Mass spectrometry and clinical neuropaediatrics among others.

He/she will have the opportunity to attend national and international meetings relevant to the subject of his thesis and will also participate in international research and training secondments in the laboratories from our close collaborators in the United Kingdome, The Netherlands and The United States of America.


How to search for the offers:

You can find each of these offers via the Offer Finder

Select “IIB SANT PAU - Fundació Institut de Recerca de l´Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau” from the dropdown list under “HOST ORGANIZATION

You can also search the positions by their title, as listed above.

Eligibility Criteria

1) At the call deadline (4th Feb 2021), applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

2) At the time of recruitment, candidates must comply with one of the following options: 

  • To have completed the studies that lead to an official university degree adapted to the European Higher Education Area awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level.
  • To have completed a degree in university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies. The verification of an equivalent level of studies to the ones mentioned above will be made by the university when the admission procedure starts.

3) Candidates must not have resided or have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline (4th Feb 2021). Short stays, such as holidays, done in a country other than their country of usual residence (where they carried out their main activity), will be considered as time spent in their country of usual residence.

4) Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

5) Only candidates whose applications meet all the requirements of the call may be accepted.


How to Apply:

If you want to apply for an INPhINIT fellowship, create your personal account and fill in the on-line application form


4 February 2021: Application deadline.

18 February 2021: Deadline for submitting the language certificate.

22 April 2021: Notification of the shortlist results.

25, 26 and 27 May 2021: Face-to-face interviews in Barcelona.

7 June 2021: Publication of the final list of selected candidates.

7 – 30 June 2021: Matching between the research centres – fellows.


More Information:

Call info: https://fundacionlacaixa.org/es/becas-la-caixa-doctorado-inphinit-incoming

Programme rules:


For inquiries related to the host please contact by email iibsantpau@santpau.cat



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