Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Bacterial Evolution

University of Oxford - Department of Zoology

A 2 year postdoctoral position is available in the MacLean lab at the University of Oxford, Department of Zoology to work on the evolution of an important bacterial pathogen, P.aeruginosa, during short-term acute infections. The primary focus of this project will be to understand the factors that drive the spread and maintenance of antibiotic resistance during acute P.aeruginosa lung infections. The post holder will use whole genome sequencing (Illumina and Nanopore or PacBio) to characterise a collection of longitudinal samples of P aeruginosa that have been collected from ICU patients in hospitals across Europe as part of COMBACTE-MAGNET ( As part of this project, we are also obtaining large data sets on antibiotic resistance, mutation rate and competitive fitness for these isolates, and we have access to data on patient antibiotic consumption and immune biomarkers. By combining these data sets, we will address a range of novel and important questions that are at the interface of evolutionary biology and medicine: 

(i) How do pathogen populations respond to antibiotic use? Does resistance evolve by de novo acquisition of resistance or by selection on standing genetic variation?

(ii) Can we detect compensatory adaptation during infections?

(iii) How do bacterial populations adapt to host immune responses?

(iv) How do mutation rates evolve during infection?

This post is ideally suited to researchers who have experience in bacterial genomics, evolution and epidemiology. The post holder will be given the opportunity to contribute to the development and direction of this project, and these positions are ideally suited for ambitious researchers with good team-work and leadership skills. The successful candidate will hold a doctoral degree (or near completion) in a relevant subject area. 

Enquiries can be sent to Craig Maclean using the email address below.

All applications must be made online and you will be required to upload a CV.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on 4 April 2018.

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