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GSK funded PhD studentship in applied vaccinology

An unique opportunity is available to pursue a GSK funded PhD studentship within the Host Pathogen Research Group at the school of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), in collaboration with GSK Vaccines, Siena. The chosen candidate will have the unprecedented opportunity to obtain a PhD from Ireland’s premier research University while training in applied immunological research at the worlds largest vaccine research company, thus equipping the individual with a unique skill set to pursue a successful research career within industry or academia.

The student will join a multidisciplinary team of academic and industrial immunology researchers investigating Staphylococcus aureus immunity. S. aureus is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), which are common, frequently recurrent and often caused by antibiotic-resistant strains. In addition, SSTI are a primary entry portal for invasive infection. Therefore, a vaccine that protects against S. aureus SSTI is a major medical need. Human skin contains twice as many T cells than blood. Skin-resident memory T cells (TSRM) permanently reside in the skin forming the first line of adaptive immunity against re-infection. The goal of this project is to assess the role of TSRM in protection against primary and recurrent S. aureus SSTI and how vaccination can exploit this response. The ability of different adjuvants to modulate the TSRM response will be also evaluated.

This PhD project will utilize an in vitro model of human skin explant and an in vivo murine model of recurrent SSTI. The student will acquire technical expertise in human and mouse immunology, microbiology, confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry, human skin explants, adjuvants and formulation science.

The studentship will be for 4 years and the successful applicant will be expected to have a first class honors degree or a high upper second in a biological subject (preferably with a significant immunology component). The student will be based primarily at the GSK Vaccine Research Campus in Siena, Italy where they will join an established group of PhD students as part of the Vaccine Academy. They will work under the direction of the company supervisor Dr Elisabetta Soldaini, PhD, Senior Scientist in the Preclinical Evidence Generation – Immunology Function at the Research Center of GSK.

Closing Date for applications: 7th June 2019 or until a suitable candidate is identified.

Please submit a covering letter and CV (include the names and contact details of 2 referees) to:
Dr Rachel McLoughlin, via email to:

Trinity College Dublin is an equal opportunities employer.

PhD Studentship in Innate Immunology

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship with Prof. Andrew Bowie, as part of the INITIATE Innovative Training Network (ITN).

Title: Exploring the role of mitochondria and metabolism in human inflammasome activation by RNA viruses.

Primary Supervisor: Prof. A. Bowie, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Collaborators: Prof. J. Hiscott, Institute Pasteur-Rome, Italy; Dr. K. Pardali, AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden

The successful candidate will have a primary degree and/or an MSc in Immunology, Molecular Biology or a related discipline, with an exemplary academic record. S/he will be a motivated individual with a passion to work on an intellectually-stimulating project at the cutting edge of current knowledge of innate immunity. S/he will enjoy working as part of a team, and have excellent oral and written communication skills. The Bowie lab offers a supportive and dynamic learning environment for students and is internationally-renowned for research in innate immunity and viral evasion.

Visit here for further details including the Project Description and Application Information.

Immunology Research Assistant Investigating Host-Pathogen Interactions

Position description: This is an opportunity for a graduate level scientist to join the Host-Pathogen Interactions group at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin. The successful candidate will work on a Wellcome funded project investigating how commensal colonisation with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus impacts upon the host immune response.

This is a great opportunity to pursue cutting edge immunology research in a dynamic research environment. The position is offered on either a full or part-time basis.

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 (

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. Commensal microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus are resident at barrier surfaces throughout the body and have the capacity to influence host development, metabolism and immunity. Germ-free mice represent a model system to study the interaction between the microbiota and host immunity. Our germ-free facility is involved in multiple research projects, offering the potential for interdisciplinary research investigating immune responses to human commensal and pathogenic bacteria, and how this impacts host resistance to infection or susceptibility to chronic inflammatory disease.

We are seeking to recruit a research assistant to manage and support the day-to-day running of our germ-free facility, in addition to contributing to experimental planning and execution. We are looking for a highly motived candidate with a strong background in immunology, ideally in the context of infection. Candidates should ideally have experience working with in vivo models.

Requirements: A master’s degree or BSc in a biological science with previous lab experience.

Closing Date for applications: May 31st 2019 or until a suitable candidate is identified.

Please submit a covering letter and CV (include the names and contact details of 2 referees) to:

Trinity College Dublin is an equal opportunities employer