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Research Vacancy


PhD Studentship in Immunology

A Postgraduate Fellowship is available from September 2018 to work on ‘The mechanisms of immunity to Bordetella pertussis – informing the design of an improved pertussis vaccine.’

This post is funded by a 5-year SFI Investigator Award to Prof Kingston Mills. The project will examine the mechanism of protective immunity against Bordetella pertussis, the bacteria that causes whooping cough (pertussis). Pertussis is a re-emerging disease, with recent epidemics in a number of countries. This may reflect ineffective and/or rapidly waning immune responses induced by current subunit pertussis vaccines, designed with limited knowledge of the mechanisms of protective immunity. This project will address the hypothesis that long term protection against B. pertussis infection can be induced using immunization approaches with novel antigens and adjuvants that induce Th1, Th17 and tissue-resident memory T cells. A mouse model will be used to investigate the induction and function of effector and memory T cells and their role in sustained protective immunity against B. pertussis. These studies will inform the design of more effective third generation pertussis vaccines.

The Immune Regulation Research Group is located in School of Biochemistry and Immunology, The Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin. Further details at: https://www.tcd.ie/Biochemistry/research/k_mills.php

The Fellowship will be for up to 4 years with registration for a PhD degree by research, with an annual stipend of €18,500 + postgraduate student fees.

Candidates should have a strong academic track record and a proven interest in research and have or expect to achieve a II.1 or 1st class honours degree or MSc in a biological science, preferably with an element of immunology in the course.

Applications by email to include CV (please include exam grades to date), abstract of final year B.A. (Mod) / B.Sc / MSc. project and the names and email addresses of 2 referees to Prof Kingston Mills; kingston.mills@tcd.ie

Closing date: 10th May 2018.


Postdoctoral Fellowship in Immunology

A Postdoctoral Fellowship is available to work on ‘The mechanisms of immunity to Bordetella pertussis – informing the design of an improved pertussis vaccine.’

This post is funded by an SFI Investigator Award to Prof Kingston Mills.

The project will examine the mechanism of protective immunity against Bordetella pertussis, the bacteria that causes whooping cough (pertussis). Pertussis is a re-emerging disease, with recent epidemics in a number of countries. This may reflect ineffective and/or rapidly waning immune responses induced by current subunit pertussis vaccines, designed with limited knowledge of the mechanisms of protective immunity. One aspect of the project will provide proof-of-principle that B. pertussis infection and certain pertussis vaccines can promote effector and memory CD4 T cell responses in human respiratory lymphoid tissue and evidence that adenotonsillar tissue are a reservoir of human respiratory tissue-resident memory T cells. This will involve a collaboration with a UK-based research group that are experts in human respiratory tissue culture systems. The Postdoc will be expected to spend some time in the UK lab.

The Immune Regulation Research Group is located in School of Biochemistry and Immunology, The Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin. Further details at: https://www.tcd.ie/Biochemistry/research/k_mills.php.

Candidates should have a PhD in Immunology or a related discipline and prior research experience in cellular immunology (essential) and preferably experience in human immunology and/or infectious diseases.

Fixed Term Contract of 24 months (with renewal for a further 24 months subject to progress and funding availability).

Appointments will be made at points 1-3 of the SFI Postdoctoral Researcher (level 2A) salary scale (€36,854- €42,603), depending on experience and in line with current Government pay policy.

Start Date: flexible; July-September 2018

Applications by email to include CV, letter of application and the names, phone numbers and email addresses of 2-3 Referees to: kingston.mills@tcd.ie

Closing date: 11th May 2018.


Provost's PhD Project Award in Cancer Biology

Applications are invited for a Provost's PhD Project Award position in the laboratory of Dr Daniela Zisterer. The successful candidate will register for a four year PhD in the School of Biochemistry & Immunology in Trinity College Dublin. The Zisterer lab is located within the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), a centre of excellence for biological and multidisciplinary research in Europe (see https://www.tcd.ie/biosciences).

Malignant rhabdoid tumour (MRT) is a highly aggressive cancer of young children with an incidence peaking between birth and three years of age. Despite the use of intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, outcomes remain poor with the overall survival rate of patients at only 20-25%. There is thus a compelling demand for new treatment strategies for MRT. Autophagy is a process that provides metabolic sources to the cell under nutrient depletion or other stress. Heightened autophagy may be a mechanism of resistance for cancer cells faced with metabolic and therapeutic stress, revealing opportunities for exploitation as a therapeutic target in cancer.  The PhD project will investigate the role played by autophagy in MRT and aims to develop selective treatment strategies to bypass drug resistance and improve clinical outcome in MRT patients.

The successful candidate will have a primary degree and/or MSc in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or a related discipline, with an exemplary academic record. S/he will be a highly motivated individual, will enjoy working as part of a team, and have excellent oral and written communication skills.  Experience in cell culture, flow cytometry & western blotting is desirable.  

Applications should be emailed to Dr Daniela Zisterer (dzistrer@tcd.ie) and include CV, statement of interest in the project (500 words max), and the name of two referees, by Wednesday 30 May. Informal enquiries are welcome to dzistrer@tcd.ie. Suitable applicants will be invited to interview in person or by Skype. The project funding covers fees and an annual stipend of €16,000.

The PhD project will commence on 1 September 2018, or as soon after that date as possible.


Last updated 16 April 2018 bbutler@tcd.ie (Email).