Postdoctoral Training Fellow - Immune Cell Biology

We have previously shown that the WNK1 kinase regulates T cell migration and adhesion (Köchl et al, 2016. Nat Immunol, 17, 1075-1083). In unpublished work we have found that WNK1 also regulates T cell activation and discovered a novel and unexpected signalling pathway that regulates ion and water flux across the plasma membrane, which is essential for T cell migration and activation, thereby opening up an exciting new area of investigation (Figure). Figure. The T cell receptor (TCR) and the chemokine receptor CCR7 transduce signals leading to the activation of WNK1, which in turn phosphorylates and activates the OXSR1 and STK39 kinases. These regulate the SLC12A-family of ion co-transporters resulting in entry of Na+, K+ and Cl- ions into the cell, followed by water entry by osmosis. This water entry is required for T cell migration and activation. The proposed research will focus on how the WNK1 pathway and ion and water flux regulate T cell migration and activation. The work will look at the role of ion and water transporters in the regulation of these processes. The postdoc will be able to expand their studies into other areas of signalling in T cells. The work is likely to involve mouse genetics, imaging, biochemistry, CRISPR screens, optogenetics, microfluidics, proteomics or transcriptomics. The work is funded by a BBSRC grant. Postdoctoral Training Fellows are expected to lead their own projects, contribute to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators) and guide PhD students in their research. The ability to work in a team is essential.

Key information

Job reference
R245
Salary
Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
02 July 2021, 00:00 BST
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 04 June 2021

Job title:

  • Postdoctoral Training Fellow

Closing date and time:

  • 1st July 2021 at 23:59

Contact term:

  • This is a full-time, 4-year position on Crick terms and conditions of employment in the Tybulewicz Lab.

The Research Group

The Tybulewicz lab is studying signalling pathways that control the biology of B and T lymphocytes. In particular we are working on pathways that control lymphocyte activation, differentiation, survival, adhesion and migration. We use a broad range of techniques including mouse genetics, biochemistry, imaging, proteomics, transcriptomics and cellular immunology. The lab currently consists of around 13 researchers including PhD students, postdocs and laboratory research scientists. For more information see the lab website.

Project summary

  

We have previously shown that the WNK1 kinase regulates T cell migration and adhesion (Köchl et al, 2016. Nat Immunol, 17, 1075-1083). In unpublished work we have found that WNK1 also regulates T cell activation and discovered a novel and unexpected signalling pathway that regulates ion and water flux across the plasma membrane, which is essential for T cell migration and activation, thereby opening up an exciting new area of investigation (Figure).

 

The proposed research will focus on how the WNK1 pathway and ion and water flux regulate T cell migration and activation. The work will look at the role of ion and water transporters in the regulation of these processes. The postdoc will be able to expand their studies into other areas of signalling in T cells. The work will involve mouse genetics, imaging, biochemistry, CRISPR screens, optogenetics, microfluidics, proteomics or transcriptomics. The work is funded by a BSSRC grant.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • Develop and lead an independent research project

  • Contribute to work of others in the group and in the wider Crick research community

  • Establish collaborations

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:

Essential

  • PhD in a relevant area (e.g. immunology, biochemistry) or be in the final stages of PhD submission

  • Good knowledge and experience of genetics, biochemistry or immunology

  • Expertise in imaging

  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in refereed journals

  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings

  • Experience of experimental design

  • Ability to work independently and also capable of interacting within a group

Desirable

  • Experience in research using mouse genetics

  • Experience in research on T cells

  • Expertise in bioinformatics