Hi! I am from France, my name is Florian and I am a new GRAL PhD student at VRM/MEM groups at Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS) co-supervised by Dr. Thibaut Crépin and Dr. Guy Schoehn. I did a BTEC Higher National Diploma before starting the university with a Bachelor degree in biochemistry and finally a Master degree financed by GRAL in Integrative Structural Biology at UGA.
My PhD project is about influenza virus. I am working on a protein/nucleic acid complex called the nucleocapsid. Currently, we do not know exactly how the viral genome (RNA) of influenza interacts with the nucleoprotein (NP) to form the nucleocapsid. There are already few
structures of this complex but the resolution is not sufficient to detail that interaction. Thus, a high-resolution structure is needed to understand how the viral genome is packaged in the viral particle and will be also helpful for further drug design. My lab has shown that
nucleocapsid-like particles can be obtained in vitro by mixing recombinant NP with small RNA probes under precise conditions. By combining biochemical, biophysical and electron microscopy technics, I aim to optimize the conditions for controlling the assembly of these
nucleocapsid-like particles and to obtain the first high-resolution cryo-EM structure of the complex between influenza NP and the RNA.
For structural biology, Grenoble is the place to be! You could find many equipments needed for studying and solving the structures of your target of interest. Furthermore, the mountains that surround Grenoble are great for rock climbing, skiing and many other things.