Research Associate/Fellow (fixed term)

University of Nottingham - Life Sciences

Location: UK Other

Salary: £26,495 to £29,799 per annum, depending on skills and experience (£29,799 with relevant PhD).

We are seeking a motivated and creative post-doctoral researcher to work on the evolution of cell surface antigens of African trypanosomes. The work is part of a project funded by the Wellcome Trust and led by Dr Catarina Gadelha. We have recently carried out the largest systematic and validated analysis of trypanosome surface molecules to date (Gadelha et al 2015). The objective of the project is to exploit this knowledge for therapeutic gain. Where possible, disease elimination through vaccination is safe, effective and cheap, and the Wellcome Trust has a significant interest in generating protective vaccines for Neglected Tropical Diseases. There is currently no effective vaccine against the human disease sleeping sickness, caused by African trypanosomes – extensive antigenic variation of the parasite's major surface protein enables it to evade host immune recognition. My lab has recently identified >100 novel surface proteins that are unique to the parasite, exposed to the extracellular space and predicted to be essential for survival. These molecules are also invariant, raising the possibility that one or more could be exploited for the development of a vaccine. This project will investigate this possibility, and identify functionally-relevant antigens that offer pan-protection across parasite strains encountered in Africa. Through a metagenomic project, the project will look at how antigen repertoire changes through space and time, and what effect it has on disease protection. This will enable us to narrow vaccine search space and invest our resources in the most promising targets. Candidates identified during the project will then be tested in vitro and in vivo, and successful ones will follow established pipelines for vaccine development and clinical trials.

Candidates must hold, or be near to completion of, a PhD or equivalent in molecular cell biology or a related area. It is also essential that they can demonstrate strong molecular skills, an ability to work quantitatively, and previous practical experience in the growth, genetic manipulation (in particular RNA interference and gene knockout) and cell biology of African trypanosomes. 

The post is available from 1st November 2017 and will be offered on a fixed term contract until 30 April 2018. This is full time, 36.25h per week post. 

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Catarina Gadelha mail catarina.gadelha@nottingham.ac.uk. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

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Midlands of England