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PhD Position in Respiratory Biochemistry and Immunology

The Cloonan lab in the School of Medicine is offering an exciting opportunity to join a young, vibrant cutting edge lab in the School of Medicine, Trinity Biosciences Institute (TBSI), Trinity College Dublin.

The opportunity will appeal to  motivated, passionate candidates who have a desire to embark on a PhD in Respiratory Biochemistry/Immunology.

This is a fully- SFI-funded Position where the accepted candidate will receive four years of tuition fees, a tax-free stipend of €18,500 and a travel allowance for research and training. Students will also have the opportunity to earn extra income through teaching activities.

The Cloonan lab is focused on understanding how cellular iron metabolism is regulated in the lung and how dysregulation of iron uptake, release or turnover contributes to disease processes. We also seek to understand how iron and the mitochondrion interact. Mitochondria are the primary storage sites for iron inside the cell, yet how iron is transported in and out of the mitochondrion and how iron regulates mitochondrial homeostasis remains to be fully determined. This PhD programme will seek specifically to understand how iron metabolism pathways regulate normal and pathogenic responses of lung alveolar macrophages (AMs) to infection and injury, and how this impacts the chronic inflammatory lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

COPD is associated with smoking and environmental pollutants and the fourth leading cause of mortality in Ireland. AMs are the critical drivers of persistent inflammation in COPD, yet little is known about how AMs are dysregulated, why they persist in the lung for many years and why current treatments for COPD fail to modulate their activity. Our research focuses on investigating how disturbances in iron metabolism underlie and drive alveolar macrophage-associated immune system disarray in COPD.

Prospective Ph.D. students should contact Dr. Cloonan @ and include a CV, cover letter, and a summary of scientific interests and reasons for being interested in her research group. The minimum requirements for consideration include:

• 2.1 grade (or equivalent) in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or related discipline.

• Non-native English speakers require at least IELTS 6.5 (with at least 6 in all components) or equivalent.

Clooney Lab Flyer


Applications Open: 10th April 2020

Applications Close: 31st May 2020 (17:00 GMT)

Shortlisting: 14th June 2020

Interviews: End-June 2020 (Skype/Zoom will be used)

Position begins: September-October 2020