Why did you apply to the Fulbright-University of Bordeaux doctoral student program?

Since 2017, I am a doctoral candidate studying Biochemistry at the University of Bordeaux (UBx) under the supervision of Dr. Antoine Loquet (DR CNRS – CBMN). Between August 2019 and January 2020, thanks to the Fulbright-UBx doctoral student program, I had the honor of joining Professor Jorge E. Galán’s laboratory at Yale University (Connecticut, USA) as a visiting student researcher. Today, back in Bordeaux, I am preparing my thesis defense which takes place in December 2020. I hope then to continue to partake in the current scientific landscape with my post-doctoral research activities.

What did you learn/achieve during your doctoral research visit?

I had the pleasure of working with Professor Jorge E. Galán (School of Medicine – Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale University), a remarkable microbiologist, for five exciting and challenging months. During this period, I broadened my knowledge in microbiology and electron microscopy. My PhD thesis, currently conducted at the University of Bordeaux, consists of the study of biological supramolecular assemblies using a biophysical and biochemical approach through nuclear magnetic resonance, also known as solid-state NMR.

The project on which I worked at Yale University is about a bacterial nanomachine used by Salmonella typhimurium to infect eukaryotic cells. The project aims at structurally and functionally characterizing a key member of the multi-protein type III secretion system (T3SS) machinery, called the “injectisome”. The main objective is to elucidate the functional role of the inner rod protein of the Salmonella T3SS machinery, PrgJ.

I hope that my visit to Yale University helped to consolidate the partnership between our universities and that further exchanges will ensue. The Fulbright-UBx doctoral scholarship for student mobility has very much facilitated such experiences.

Three words that describe your experience?

Mutual understanding, curiosity and personal development!

In my case, this was my first experience as a young researcher in the international academic landscape, and it has helped me apprehend my future career more efficiently. From a personal perspective, I hope to have contributed to reinforcing the links between our two countries through my meetings, exchanges, conversations, friendships, etc. These 6 months at Yale University allowed me to see how curiosity, cultural exchange and a mutual understanding between populations may lead to the celebration of differences. I am particularly thrilled to have been part of such a wonderful community as I deeply share the values promoted by the Fulbright Program.

Would you have any advice to give to future candidates?

I can only strongly encourage doctoral students to apply to the Fulbright-UBx Doctoral Program as the outcome will surely be personal and professional growth! For those of you who are about to embark on this journey, I advise you to participate in as many programs, lectures and organized activities as possible, and engage with the people surrounding you in your work environment.

Doctoral students partaking in the Fulbright-UBx program in 2021

Charlène GUIMPIER – Doctoral school of Chemical sciences, UBx

  • Subject: Physical-Chemistry investigation of hydrate-bearing sediments: impacts of the sediment on the formation mechanism and the storage capacity.
  • University: Colorado School of Mines
  • Period: 4 months starting January 2021

Jérémie LESPINASSE - Doctoral school of Society, politics and public health, UBx

  • Subject: Modelling of the pathophysiological mechanisms of dementia 
  • University: Columbia University
  • Period: 6 months starting January 2021

Andrea VIAMONTE – Doctoral school of Chemical sciences, UBx

  • Subject: Programmed assembly of digitally encoded colloids
  • University: Columbia University
  • Period: 12 months starting January 2021

Joshua FORER – University of Florida, USA

  • Subject: Study of electron-driven processes in the interstellar medium
  • University: University of Bordeaux
  • Period: 10 months starting January 2021

Updated on 08/12/2020

For more information

Consult the dedicated website for more information about Fulbright-UBx Doctoral Research Awards