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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of Exeter - College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Location: Exeter
Salary: The starting salary will be from £35,845 up to £46,718 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 16th August 2019
Closes: 30th September 2019
Job Ref: P68729

The full time post is available as soon as possible after 1st October until 30th September 2022.

The post

The College wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to participate in delivering a novel project as part of a Wellcome Trust-funded research programme that seeks to understand how the mechanobiology of the tissue matrix surrounding host invasion sites influences microbe and host-cell interactions.

The project focuses on the pathogenic fungus, Candida albicans, which causes around 200,000 life-threatening systemic infections per year, with around 40 % mortality. A key virulence trait of this fungus is the formation of invasive filaments called hyphae, which penetrate blood-vessel walls and form inflamed lesions in the diverse solid organ tissues underneath, leading to sepsis and death. Our research group focuses on how hyphae respond to their physical environment and we have discovered fungus-specific characteristics that may be important for tissue invasion. We are now extending this work to include the host cells encountered by the fungus at different infection sites. The successful applicant will establish a new 3-D model system with tuneable mechanical properties. Live-cell imaging will be used to characterise how tissue mechanics affects translocation of the fungus across endothelial cells layers into the underlying matrix, and the ability of resident immune cells to detect and kill fungal cells.

About you

The successful applicant will be able to develop new research hypotheses and design experimental approaches that will advance the research field of the project. The applicant will also contribute to the process of securing further funding by generating preliminary data and communicate to the research community and the public by making presentations at conferences and Outreach events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will demonstrate knowledge and a research track record in the skills required for this project, possessing sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work with cross-disciplinary collaborators, supervise the work of undergraduate and post-graduate students and act as team leader as required. Applicants will be able to carry out the culture and genetic manipulation of fungi and have a basic understanding of animal/human tissue culture. A biophysics/physics background is highly desirable, with computational skills (eg Matlab) and experience in quantitative image analysis. The ability to design and generate custom microfluidic chambers would also be an asset.

You can view the Job Description and Person Specification document here.

For further information and to discuss the post, please contact Dr Alex Brand, e-mail after 25th August 2019.

Any queries before the 25th of August can be directed to Suzanne Laver at, or alternatively, you can call on 01392 722293

The closing date for completed applications is 30th September 2019.

Interviews are expected to take place in the second half of September.

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer. We are officially recognised as a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce

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