Postdoctoral position in atomic and molecular physics - Caen, France

A one-year postdoctoral position is available in the field of atomic and molecular physics in the Centre de Recherche sur les Ions, les MatĂ©riaux et la Photonique (CIMAP), in Caen (France). The position is funded by the “Plan Physique Cancer” (INCa/INSERM) in the framework of a collaboration between the CIMAP and the Institut de Physique NuclĂ©aire de Lyon (IPNL).

Research project: Nowadays, ion beam cancer therapy is a powerful emergent technique used in cancer treatment, especially for deep-seated tumors. The advantages of ion beams with respect to conventional radiotherapy techniques based on photons and electrons are well known. They are due to the characteristic Bragg peak, the small lateral spreading and the increased relative radiobiological efficiency. However, a number of important scientific questions, especially related to DNA damage assessment at the molecular level, have not been resolved.  We propose to study the fundamental processes occurring at the molecular levelduring the interaction of ions with small biological systems in the gas phase. We will measure the destruction rates of biomolecules governed by energy and charge transfer. Mass spectrometric analysis will be applied to obtain detailed insights into the fragmentation pathways of ion-induced radiation damage and the secondary electron production. The studies will be performed with isolated as well as nano-hydrated biomolecules to clarify the role of water molecules in the radiation damage process (direct and indirect effects). In addition, noble metal nanoparticles will be included in the target in order to elucidate their enhancing effect on the radio-biological efficiency of ion irradiation. To improve our understanding of the first steps of radiation damage induced by ionizing radiation, the experimental work will be supported by simulations of radical production by water radiolysis with and without nanoparticle included.

To apply
The candidate will further develop the experimental set-up and implement first experiments on ion collisions with biological complex systems in the gas phase.  The candidate should have a PhD in Physics or Physical-Chemistry. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in instrument development, gas phase techniques and mass spectrometry. The successful candidate is expected to start in January 2014.  Applicants should send a letter of motivation, CV, publication list and two letters of recommendation from academic referees to:
Alicja Domaracka
Boulevard Henri Becquerel, BP 5133
F-14070 Caen cedex 5

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