Jobs

2-year postdoc in Plasmodium molecular genetics, Cambridge University

A postdoctoral research position is available in the laboratory of Dr Catherine Merrick, working on an MRC-funded project to study the roles of G-quadruplex nucleic acid structures and the helicases that unwind them in Plasmodium falciparum. Dr Merrick's research group is currently based at Keele University and will relocate to Central Cambridge at the end of May 2018. The post will be available in Central Cambridge from June 2018.

The project will involve a range of cutting-edge 'omic-level techniques, together with molecular genetics and cell biology, and will be supported by a dedicated technician. Dr Merrick's recent work has suggested that G-quadruplexes may form a novel mechanism for controlling the transcription and recombination of var virulence genes, as well as the stability and evolution of the parasite genome as a whole. For further details, see Harris & Merrick, Plos Pathogens 2015, Stanton et al., BMC Genomics 2016 and Harris et al., AAC 2018.

Applicants should hold a PhD in molecular biology, parasitology or genomics, with skills in cell culture, molecular biology and genomics/bioinformatics. Where the successful applicant does not yet have a PhD, they will normally be under-appointed as a Research Assistant (salary of £28,936) in a Research Associate post (on the understanding that they will be appointed as a Research Associate (salary of £31,604) upon successful completion of their PhD). The higher Research Associate salary should be backdated to the submission date of their thesis or start date whichever is the later.

Other duties/responsibilities as outlined in the Further Information documents include developing and driving research objectives, writing up work for presentation and publication, assisting in the supervision of student research projects, and delivering seminars and occasional lectures. Experience of Plasmodium molecular genetics is desirable. The appointee will benefit from excellent facilities, including newly-refurbished Category-3 containment laboratories, and diverse expertise at the Cambridge Pathology Department.

For further information please contact: c.merrick@keele.ac.uk http://www.keele.ac.uk/caep/people/catherinemerrick/

Fixed-term: 2 years

Closing date 26th May 2018. Interviews will be held week commencing 11th June 2018.

More details and apply here.

4-year postdoc in Plasmodium molecular genetics, Cambridge University

A postdoctoral research position is available in the laboratory of Dr Catherine Merrick, working on an ERC-funded project to study DNA replication in Plasmodium falciparum. Dr Merrick's research group is currently based at Keele University and will relocate to central Cambridge at the end of May 2018. The post will be available in Cambridge from June 2018.

The project will examine replication and the cell cycle at several stages of the Plasmodium lifecycle, using a range of cutting-edge techniques in molecular genetics and genomics. Dr Merrick recently developed a novel technique to follow DNA replication in malaria parasites at the whole cell, genomic and single-molecule levels (see Merrick, Malar J. 2015 and Stanojcic, Sci Rep 2017). The project will be conducted by two postdocs working in close collaboration, supported by a dedicated technician.

Applicants should hold a PhD in molecular biology, parasitology or genomics, with skills in cell culture, molecular biology and genomics/bioinformatics. Experience of Plasmodium molecular genetics is desirable. Where the successful applicant does not yet have a PhD, he/she will normally be under-appointed as a Research Assistant (salary of £28,936) in a Research Associate post (salary of £31,604) (on the understanding that he/she will be appointed as a Research Associate upon successful completion of his/her PhD). The higher Research Associate salary should be backdated to the submission date of their thesis or start date whichever is the later.

Other duties/responsibilities as outlined in the Further Information documents include developing and driving research objectives, writing up work for presentation and publication, assisting in the supervision of student research projects, and delivering seminars and occasional lectures.

The appointee will benefit from excellent facilities, including newly-refurbished Category-3 containment laboratories, and diverse expertise at the Cambridge Pathology Department.

For further information please contact: c.merrick@keele.ac.uk http://www.keele.ac.uk/caep/people/catherinemerrick/

Fixed-term: 4 years

Closing date May 3rd 2018. Interviews will be held week commencing 14th May 2018.

More details and apply here.

PhD position: A multi-omics approach to improve Eimeria functional genome annotation

Royal Vet College, London

Principal SupervisorDr Dong Xia (Royal Veterinary College)
Email: dxia@rvc.ac.uk

Co-SupervisorDr Ozan Gundogdu (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)
Email: Ozan.Gundogdu@lshtm.ac.uk

Co-SupervisorProfessor Fiona Tomley (Royal Veterinary College)
Email: ftomley@rvc.ac.uk

Co-SupervisorProfessor Damer Blake (Royal Veterinary College)
Email: dblake@rvc.ac.uk

Project description

Eimeria is a genus of apicomplexan parasites that cause serious veterinary and human infectious diseases, including Plasmodium, the malaria agent and Toxoplasma, a zoonotic opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised hosts such as AIDS patients. Coccidiosis, an enteric disease caused by Eimeria parasites, is a major threat to food security in poultry production, where it costs ~3 billion USD per year. A group of specialized secretory organelles including the micronemes and rhoptries drive the invasion and intracellular survival of these parasites. Parasite life cycle stages that contain these organelles induce strong protective immunity in the chicken host, so they are of considerable interest for the development of novel vaccines against coccidiosis. However, despite extensive community efforts, there are still 68% of proteins annotated as hypothetical in Eimeria tenella, one of the best-curated Eimeria species, with limited information on function and subcellular localisation. This lack of annotation has restricted the search for additional valid recombinant vaccine candidates.

Harnessing the recent advancement in instrument resolution of mass spectrometers and analytical power provided by machine learning algorithms, this project aims to characterise the localisation of organelle proteins using advanced spatial proteomics approaches followed by machine learning based classification solutions. A number of novel protein candidates will be fused with fluorescent reporters to validate localisation and feedback to a bioinformatics pipeline to iteratively improve the prediction and classification accuracy. Data generated will be subsequently integrated with a multi-omics proteogenomic pipeline to further refine gene model predictions in collaboration with EuPathDB team. Functional annotation and domain structure of novel organelle proteins identified will be examined to identify new targets for disease intervention.

This is an exciting opportunity for an individual interested in parasitology and systems biology to join a multi-disciplinary project based at the UK's oldest and largest veterinary school and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The successful candidate will receive extensive training and support to develop laboratory techniques and data analysis skills in microbiology, molecular biology and cutting edge systems biology technologies in a high impact scientific field, where the novelty of the approach can be applied to other pathogens of medical and veterinary importance.

A candidate should have a good first degree in a relevant subject. An MSc would be an advantage, as would experience of practical parasitology, and molecular biology.

Eimeria is a genus of apicomplexan parasites that cause serious veterinary and human infectious diseases, including Plasmodium, the malaria agent and Toxoplasma, a zoonotic opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised hosts such as AIDS patients. Coccidiosis, an enteric disease caused by Eimeria parasites, is a major threat to food security in poultry production, where it costs ~3 billion USD per year. A group of specialized secretory organelles including the micronemes and rhoptries drive the invasion and intracellular survival of these parasites. Parasite life cycle stages that contain these organelles induce strong protective immunity in the chicken host, so they are of considerable interest for the development of novel vaccines against coccidiosis. However, despite extensive community efforts, there are still 68% of proteins annotated as hypothetical in Eimeria tenella, one of the best-curated Eimeria species, with limited information on function and subcellular localisation. This lack of annotation has restricted the search for additional valid recombinant vaccine candidates.

Harnessing the recent advancement in instrument resolution of mass spectrometers and analytical power provided by machine learning algorithms, this project aims to characterise the localisation of organelle proteins using advanced spatial proteomics approaches followed by machine learning based classification solutions. A number of novel protein candidates will be fused with fluorescent reporters to validate localisation and feedback to a bioinformatics pipeline to iteratively improve the prediction and classification accuracy. Data generated will be subsequently integrated with a multi-omics proteogenomic pipeline to further refine gene model predictions in collaboration with EuPathDB team. Functional annotation and domain structure of novel organelle proteins identified will be examined to identify new targets for disease intervention.

This is an exciting opportunity for an individual interested in parasitology and systems biology to join a multi-disciplinary project based at the UK's oldest and largest veterinary school and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The successful candidate will receive extensive training and support to develop laboratory techniques and data analysis skills in microbiology, molecular biology and cutting edge systems biology technologies in a high impact scientific field, where the novelty of the approach can be applied to other pathogens of medical and veterinary importance.

Candidate requirements

Essential requirements

  • You should have a good first degree in a relevant subject.

Desirable requirements

  • An MSc in a relevant subject
  • Experience of practical parasitology, and molecular biology.
  • Understanding of basic bioinformatic principles

Key References

  • Tomley F. Methods. 1997;13(2):171-6.
  • Thul P.J., Åkesson L., Wiking M., et al., Science. 2017; 26(356) 6340.
  • Xia, D., Sanderson, S.J., Jones, A.R., et al., Genome Biol, 2008. 9(7): p. R116.
  • Krishna, R., Xia, D., Sanderson, S., et al., Proteomics, 2015. 15(15): p. 2618-28.

Further details, see here.

Closing date 22/04/2018