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Research Assistant - Immunology

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin - Host-Pathogen Interactions Group at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology

Location: Dublin - Ireland
Salary: €28,994
£25,787.29 converted salary* per annum Full-time or pro rata on a Part-time basis (Level 1, Point 10 of IUA Salary Scale, Jan. 2019)
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 1st May 2019
Closes: 31st May 2019

Hours – Position is offered on either a Full- or Part-time basis

Job Summary

This is an opportunity for a graduate level scientist to join the Host-Pathogen Interactions group led by Dr. Rachel McLoughlin 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. 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.

Duties and Responsibilities

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.


  • A master’s degree or BSc in a biological science.
  • Previous laboratory experience.

Project 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, the 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 S. 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.

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

Applicants should submit a covering letter and CV (giving the names and contact details of 2 referees) to:   

Trinity College Dublin is an equal opportunities employer.

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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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