PhD student position in HRMS-based exposomics at the French School of Public Health (France) / RECETOX (Czech Republic)

Topic description

Chronic exposure of the general population to complex mixtures of chemicals is suspected of contributing to many adverse health outcome such as non-communicable chronic diseases (NCD) which are the major causes of premature death worldwide. Hence, deciphering the human chemical exposome (i.e. characterizing chemical mixtures and their transformation products accumulated in human biological matrices) and identifying the relevant chemical mixtures associated with NCDs would be a key step towards improving health and potentially reduce the overall burden of NCDs.

To this aim, innovative holistic methodologies methods are acutely needed to make a step change in human exposure assessment and capture the high diversity of exposures human is facing daily. Importantly, many NCDs could have their origins in utero (developmental origins of health and disease – DOHaD); it is therefore essential to focus on one of the most critical and vulnerable periods of development, i.e. the prenatal period.

The main objective of PhD will be to develop a robust standardized methodology to apply suspect screening and non-targeted analyses based on high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) to profile placenta samples from mother-child cohort studies. Profiling placenta using untargeted methods offers many advantages to monitor fetal exposure as many xenobiotics have been shown to accumulate over time in the placenta.

Candidate's profile

We seek a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a master degree in analytical chemistry and initial expertise in the area of HRMS-based exposomics, metabolomics, or analytical chemistry. Essential skills for this job include experience in biological sample preparation techniques; practical expertise in liquid chromatographic methods and/or gas chromatography.

Application Process

Please, apply through this link:

Presentation of host institution and host laboratory

The Environment and Health Research Laboratory (Leres) is the analytical platform of the French School of Public Health (EHESP, Rennes Frances). It is one of the two analytical platforms of the Research Institute for Environmental and Occupational Health ( (Irset-Inserm UMR 1085), which is one of Europe's leading exposomics research centres performing cutting edge research in genomics, transcriptomics, analytical chemistry, toxicology, exposure science, epidemiology and risk assessment. The Leres facility is fully equipped with cutting edge mass spectrometry instruments (MS/MS and HRMS) to assess human exposure to inorganic and organic mixtures.

RECETOX is an independent department of Masaryk University’s Faculty of Science in Brno, Czech Republic, celebrating more than 35 years of academic and research excellence in the fields of environmental and health. Although it initially focused on the interactions among chemicals, environments, and biological systems, and their consequences on local, regional, and global levels, the Centre’s current, and long-term strategic vision is to become an international center of excellence, supporting research and education focused on unravelling the role of environmental factors in human health, aging, and wellbeing, developing innovative approaches to environmental and health protection, and tools for prevention, diagnostics, and intervention.