Job offer in london Postdoctoral Training Fellow in Host Pathogen Interaction – The Francis Crick Institute



Contract: Fixed-term (4 years), Full time

Short Introduction/ Summary

We are recruiting a postdoc with an interest in Toxoplasma – host cell interaction, or Toxoplasma biology. Toxoplasma gondii is a member of a large group of intracellular parasites (the Apicomplexa to which the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum also belongs), that infect and extensively modify the host cell.

We have recently established an arrayed CRIPSR library covering >2000 Toxoplasma genes to enable targeted CRISPR screens in cell culture and in vivo. This library allows the specific identification of Toxoplasma genes important for host-pathogen interaction, the lytic cycle (such as invasion, growth, egress), metabolic needs or stage conversion. The arrayed nature of the library allows screening of specific subsets of genes (for example transcription factors, metabolic enzymes, secreted effector proteins) under various experimental conditions.

The successful candidate will have a key interest in making use of the arrayed library and brings the specific expertise required for performing the phenotypic assays.  This includes assays to investigate the innate immune response to Toxoplasma, growth, metabolism and signalling.

The lab currently consists of 6 postdocs and 3 PhD students and is located in the Francis Crick Institute in London. The “Crick” is the largest biomedical research centre in Europe, housing >90 research groups spanning all life-sciences as well as 12 high quality core facilities. We believe this allows an extraordinary working environment on a small physical footprint.

The position is fixed term for 4 years, allowing ample of time to develop an independent project.

Project Scope/ Description

Toxoplasma is one of the most successful parasites known, infecting up to 30% of the human population. While in most cases the parasite remains in a dormant form, if uncontrolled by the human immune system it can be fatal and a cause of severe medical problems.

We have recently established an arrayed CRIPSR library covering >2000 Toxoplasma genes to enable targeted CRISPR screens in cell culture and in vivo. This library allows the specific identification of Toxoplasma genes important for host-pathogen interaction, the lytic cycle (such as invasion, growth, egress), metabolic needs or stage conversion. The arrayed nature of the library allows screening of specific subsets of genes (for example transcription factors, metabolic enzymes, secreted effector proteins) under various experimental conditions.

We offer a very diverse laboratory environment with key expertise in arrayed CRIPSR screens, quantitative mass-spectrometry, chemical biology, cell biology, Toxoplasma genetic manipulation and phenotyping. We are also highly experienced in Plasmodium falciparum biology and genetics, allowing direct transfer of Toxoplasma results into the malaria parasite, if warranted.  

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.

The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.

The Francis Crick Institute will be world-class with a strong national role. Its distinctive vision for excellence includes commitments to collaboration; to developing emerging talent and exporting it the rest of the UK; to public engagement; and to helping turn discoveries into treatments as quickly as possible to improve lives and strengthen the economy.

If you are interested please send a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position (the biology) and what experience you bring to the project. Please also include a CV and two references.

Please note: all offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom.

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