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Postdoctoral Research Posts in Innate Immunity

Applications are invited for Postdoctoral Research positions in Prof. Andrew Bowie’s lab in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in Trinity College Dublin. The Bowie lab is situated in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, a global centre of excellence for Immunology research (www.tcd.ie/biosciences). Our research focuses on innate immune sensing and signalling mechanisms of relevance to inflammation and autoimmunity (www.tcd.ie/Biochemistry/research/a_bowie.php). We also investigate how pathogens evade and subvert detection by the host response. Our work has shed light on how pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and cytosolic DNA sensors recognise pathogens, leading to the induction of type I interferons (IFNs) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. These IFNs and cytokines control infection locally as well as coordinating the adaptive immune response. We also investigate how PRRs and inflammasomes drive inflammation and cell death through the recognition of nucleic acid such as mislocalised self-DNA, to more fully understand how autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are initiated and exacerbated.

Four Science Foundation Ireland-funded postdoctoral positions are immediately available.

The successful candidates will have a PhD in Immunology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology or a related discipline, with a proven publication record. They will be highly motivated individuals with a passion to work on an intellectually-stimulating project at the cutting edge of current knowledge of innate immunity and inflammation. They will enjoy working as part of a team, and have excellent oral and written communication skills.

PDRA1 and PDRA2 (2 years initially) are available to recent PhD graduates to work on a programme of research which addresses the role of SARM (Sterile alpha and HEAT/Armadillo motif protein) in regulating inflammation in mammalian cells. We have discovered that SARM, one of the most evolutionarily conserved innate immune proteins, is a regulator of PRR and inflammasome responses in macrophages. Thus SARM may have a role in inflammatory disease and in this project we will build on exciting preliminary data to determine the role of SARM in (1) gene transcription, (2) inflammasome regulation and (3) pyroptosis, using biochemical, cell and animal model approaches. Experience in any of the following would be an advantage: global transcriptome analysis (RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq), CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, retroviral transduction of mammalian cells, confocal microscopy.

PDRA3 (2 years initially) is available to an individual with previous postdoctoral research experience in innate immunity or microbiology. This project will investigate innate immune responses underpinning bacteria-host interactions, with a focus on Klebsiella pneumoniae. This project is funded by SFI and the BBSRC and is a collaboration with Prof Jose Bengoechea (Queens University Belfast). We will examine how DNA sensing and PRR and inflammasome activation define bacterial responses in vitro and disease outcomes in vivo.

PDRA4 (6 month project initially) will characterise novel anti-inflammatory peptides derived from poxviral proteins that target host innate immune signalling pathways. A series of peptides that have been identified to inhibit PRR-induced cytokines will be tested in vitro and in vivo with a view to determining their mechanisms of action and to developing novel anti-inflammatories. Essential skills: cell culture, gene expression and cytokine analysis (qPCR, ELISA), Western blotting.

Applications should be emailed to Prof. Andrew Bowie (agbowie@tcd.ie). Please indicate which post you are interested in, and include covering letter, CV and the name of two referees, and send applications as soon as possible or by the closing date of 31st August 2017. Informal enquiries are welcome to agbowie@tcd.ie. Suitable applicants will be invited to interview in person or by Skype.


Post Doctoral Research Fellow Investigating Host-Pathogen Interactions

Position description: Applications are invited for an ambitious postdoctoral research position in cellular immunology, funded by the Wellcome Trust. The successful candidate will join the Host-Pathogen Interactions group led by Dr Rachel McLoughlin at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin (www.tcd.ie/Biochemistry/research/r_mcloughlin.php).

The postdoc will lead an exciting new project investigating immune memory induced by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. This project will employ a range of immunological techniques to investigate immune memory associated with S. aureus colonisation in the healthy population.

We are looking for a highly motived candidate with a strong background in cell and molecular biology in addition to immunology experience, ideally in the context of infection. Our team already consists of postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and research assistants and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and The Wellcome Trust. The postdoc will actively support PhD students and undergraduate students in the lab, present at national and international meetings and publish in leading international journals.

Scientific Background: The WHO highlights the epidemic of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as a particular threat to society, strongly advocating for the development of alternatives to antibiotics. Over the past 15 years significant efforts have been made to develop an anti-S. aureus vaccine but to-date none have been successful. What is it about S. aureus that makes it so difficult to vaccinate against? The primary goal in the lab is to address this question. Specifically, this program will investigate the influence of S. aureus colonisation on the host immune system. In addition to causing severe invasive disease, S. aureus lives innocuously in the nasal passages of the majority of the population. However, we understand very little about how exposure to S. aureus in this context affects our immune system or how this exposure might influence our ability to respond to a vaccine against this organism.

Requirements: A PhD in Immunology, molecular or cell biology with proven publication record and excellent communication skills.

Closing Date for applications: August 31st 2017 or until a suitable candidate is identified

Please submit a covering letter and CV (include the names and contact details of 2 referees) to: rachel.mcloughlin@tcd.ie
Trinity College Dublin is an equal opportunities employer.


Last updated 17 August 2017 bbutler@tcd.ie (Email).