postdoc position in Marseille, France

we have just received the funding for a 1 year postdoc position in Marseille University, France.
the description may be found here
or at the end of this topic.
Umberto D’Ortona

Within a one year project (called MUCIL) starting in January 2014 and funded by Institut Carnot Star
(Marseilles, France), a post doctoral researcher is sought to develop and use a numerical code involving
fluid-structure interactions, multiphase flow and non-Newtonian fluids in the context of airways and
human lung disorders related to the mucus / cilia interactions.

The so-called mucociliary clearance is the self-cleaning mechanism achieved by epithelial cells, acting
as an escalator of beating cilia, which transports the mucus and protects the airways from inhaled
infectious and toxic agents. It is of great interest to have a numerical tool able to simulate such
configurations, as it can help to get more insight in lung pathologies related to beating cilia disorders
(asthma) or mucus hypersecretion (cystic fibrosis).

The MUCIL project is thus a highly interdisciplinary research topic involving three partners all located in
Marseilles: the M2P2 laboratory, INSERM and the Physio-Assist company.

The main objective is to build the numerical tool based on previous works done by the members of the
consortium. The amount of real developing work is rather small as the various ingredients of the
numerical tool already exist. The task will be to bring the various ingredients together:
• Fluid-structure interaction (Favier et al., 2008-2013),
• Non-Newtonian character of the bronchial mucus (Seyssiecq & Poncet, 2012),
• Multiphase flow (d’Ortona, 1995),
• Beating characteristics of cilia and rheology of real bronchial mucus (Gras et al., 2012), from the
ex-vivo model of epithelium developed at INSERM.

The second objective of the project is to test the effect of the SIMEOX (apparatus developed by Physio-
Assist) on the mucus rheology in a configuration involving beating cilia. In particular, we will aim at
finding the optimal shape of the signal (amplitude and frequency).

For the fluid part, the Lattice-Boltzmann method will be preferred (possibly using PALABOS, in-house
codes, …). A strong background in computational fluid dynamics is then required. A previous
experience in Lattice-Boltzmann method will definitely be an asset (opensource or in-house code).
Additionally, the candidate will also have an experience in mathematical modelling and in one more of
the following skills:
• High performance computing and parallel environments,
• Scientific analysis of 3D data and cross-comparison of numerics and experiments,
• Basic epithelium dynamics and physiology.

This postdoctoral position is perfectly suited for researchers looking for an opportunity to work in a
truly interdisciplinary environment, interacting with researchers in computational fluid mechanics,
medical doctors, physicians, biologists and a company. It is a great opportunity to expand knowledge,
develop new abilities and write publications of high impact.

To apply, please send a complete CV (recommendation letters and a copy of your publications or PhD
thesis) as soon as possible to:
Julien Favier (, Tel. 0033 (0)4 91 11 85 23 / Fax 0033 (0)4 91 11 85 02)
Laboratoire M2P2 UMR 7340, Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, Ecole Centrale de Marseille
IMT la Jetée, 38 rue F. Joliot-Curie, Technopôle Château-Gombert, 13451 Marseille, cédex 20, France