Jérôme Hénin – Research group and open positions

Open Position - PhD fellowship

  • Topic: Molecular simulations of neuronal ion channel-receptor function
  • funded for 3 years
  • starting September 2019
  • at IBPC in downtown Paris

Ligand-gated ion channels such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are membrane proteins that perform a unique function: transducing chemical signals into electric impulses in neurons or muscular cells. In this project the candidate will use molecular simulations to understand in detail the complex landscape that these proteins navigate during their functional motions, as well as the modulation of these motions by natural and exogenous molecules. This completely interdisciplinary project will leverage state-of-the-art methods in molecular simulation, and potentially trigger new developments, driven by major biomedical questions.

The work is fully funded for three years. The lab offers an extremely rich and supportive scientific environment. Dr Hénin has expertise on the science of ligand-gated channels as well as state-of-the-art simulation methods. There are local computational resources (CPUs and GPUs), and an initial allocation of computer time is already secured at national supercomputer centers.

Qualifications required:

  • Master's degree in Physics, Chemistry, Quantitative Life Sciences, or interdisciplinary Master's degree across these domains;
  • solid bases in Mathematics, Statistical Mechanics, and Biophysics, Biochemistry, or Physical Chemistry;
  • some experience with molecular modeling and simulation;
  • a strong interest in biological problems.

Technical skills:

  • UNIX command-line;
  • data analysis and plotting tools;
  • solid bases in programming (Python and other languages).

Other requirements:

  • excellent communication skills;
  • good command of written and spoken English;
  • desire to learn;
  • enthusiasm about working in a rich scientific environment with other junior and senior researchers.

To apply: send a letter with a CV, recent grade reports, and the name and email of two references to Dr Hénin (henin_at_ibpc.fr).

Current group

  • Cecilia Chávez-García (spring 2019, visiting student from Mikko Karttunen's lab).
  • Selim Ben Slama (spring 2019, 5-month research project for BSc).
  • Xiaojing Wu (since 2018, post-doc co-advised with Marc Baaden, LBT, and Aurélien Delalande, LCP, U. Paris-Sud). Electron transfer in NOX proteins.
  • Loris Felardos (since 2018, PhD candidate co-advised with Guillaume Charpiat, INRIA). Machine learning for molecular simulations.
  • Laura Joana Silva Lopes (since 2016, PhD candidate co-advised with Tony Lelièvre, CERMICS). Path sampling and kinetics of protein-ligand binding with Adaptive Multilevel Splitting.


  • Léo Houairi (2018, 3-month rotation project for BSc). High-throuput structural modeling of ligand-gated ion channels, Pro-loop Database.
  • Dario de Vecchis (2013-2017, PhD co-advised with Antoine Taly and Marc Baaden). Topic: Modeling of mitochondrial membrane fusion protein. Current position: post-doc in Leeds, UK.
  • Baptiste Colcombet-Cazenave (2017, 4-month project for Master's). Topic: Predicting the function of unknown ligand-gated ion channels from modeling and simulation. Current position: 2nd year Master's student in Paris.
  • Adrien Lesage (2015, 6-month graduate project for engineering school). Topic: Free energy estimators for adaptive-biasing force simulations. Current position: PhD candidate in Paris.
  • Mariama Jaiteh (2014, 6-month graduate project for Master's). Topic: Evolution of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. Current position: PhD candidate in Uppsala, Sweden.