Join us

You would like to join our team ?

We are always interested in having new forces join us, and in hiring enthousiastic and curious young reasearchers at any career stage. If you’re interested, I encourage you to contact me and provide information listed below.

Why would you join a small team ? Because in spite of a current tight funding situation, we have fun projects to work on (appraised by reviewers, even when our grants are not funded), and cool unpublished results on which to build fun new steps. Then, If you’re a student, I’m available for as much supervision as you need (and I care about your success). If you’re a more senior researcher (post-doc or more advanced researcher), this is the opportunity for you to make a difference in a lab that needs you, and, if you want it, to emerge as a promissing early career researcher. In all cases, I would love to accompany you towards your goals. And finally, because the team would thrive with fresh new members.

Why is the team so small? For a while, this had been a choice, as I personally liked staying at the bench and supervising few people only. Then, after more than 10 years of successful funding, being a small team suddenly became one of the recurrent arguments for grant reviewers/committes to reject our proposals (in particular those with salaries), as this lowers feasibility of ambitious projects. In the last 6 years, this systematic music has turned the problem into a persistant/unsolvable issue…, even when we team-up with new collaborators. The critical funding situation made me focus on grants and papers rather than on the famous HDR (habilitation to direct research). Without HDR, the lab is no longer eligible to receive PhD fellowships, reason for not hosting any PhD student. Of course, Covid kicked-in for a while, and finally, since 12/2020, health reasons kept me away from the bench and from supervising students. This is fortunately over, and lab life should be back to normal with the new academic year 2021-2022. Hopefully, solving the HDR issue in the near future will help opening our door to PhD students.


We currently are enthusiastic about a project aiming to investigate skeletal muscle regeneration in healthy and diseased muscle (see here), and to explore the mechanisms leading to fibrosis and adipose infiltrations in a range of muscular dystrophies, and we’d love to identify a post-doctoral candidate to work with us on it. Contact me for more information on the project, and to discuss how you may contribute, and what source of funding you may apply to.

For this project, having knowledge on muscle biology and experience with cell culture and live imaging, and/or micropatterns and mecanobiology would make you the ideal candidate. Experience with mouse genetics would be a plus, but not stricktly required.

If you consider joining the lab, there are multiple opportunities of funding. I can help identifying options and selecting the ones that are ideal for you, and doing my best to help.

If you are interested in applying for a post-doctoral position, please send a CV, with a description of your past work and future research interests, and names of at least three academic references, and a letter explaining why you consider joining us, and how you will contribute to our research.

CNRS Researcher mobility

The team would love to welcome a permanent researcher. If you are a researcher alreading working at CNRS, if you are considering finding a new environment, and seeking to make a difference and have an impact in biomedical sciences, we would be very honoured to welcome you to the lab. Please refer to the CNRS instructions regarding mobility for detailed information on the procedure. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to discuss how this could boost your career and to prepare together an ambitious project.

Master Students

The Helmbacher lab is affiliated at the Integrative Biology and Physiology (website in english here) and at the Neuroschool Masters programs at Aix-Marseille University. Please apply to one of these programs, and contact me to arrange a lab rotation, by sending a CV (including courses you have followed, and scores), and a motivation letter explaining why you want to work in our lab. Funding for PhD is attributed by the Doctoral School in life sciences (EDSVS).