Postdoctoral Training Fellow - Immune Cell Biology

Please note this is a rolling advert with no specific closing date, which will close once both positions are filled. Applications will be considered as they arrive.
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 In unpublished work we have found that WNK1 also regulates T cell activation and discovered a novel and unexpected signalling pathway that regulates ion and water flux across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
From £38,800
Application close date
31 December 2022, 00:00 GMT
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 01 November 2021
Background texture taken from the lab imagery.

Contract term: There are two full-time, fixed term (4 year) positions on Crick terms and conditions of employment available. Applicants can indicate which project they are more interested in but will be considered for both.

Please note this is a rolling advert with no specific closing date, which will close once both positions are filled. Applications will be considered as they arrive

The Tybulewicz group

Immune Cell Biology Laboratory

The 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 summaries

Project 1

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. 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, and is likely to use mouse genetics, cell biology, imaging, biochemistry, microfluidics and optogenetics.

Project 2

B cell-T cell collaboration is at the heart of the adaptive immune response. This project will study the signalling processes that occur during B cell-T cell interactions. While many of the proteins that participate in this process are known, many remain to be discovered. The aim will be to comprehensively identify all proteins involved in this 2-way communication, to explore their role in immune responses in vivo and to understand how they signal into B or T cells. The work will involve proteomics, immunology, mouse genetics, CRISPR screens, single cell RNAseq, and biochemistry.

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.

Informal enquiries are welcome, and should be directed to Victor Tybulewicz (Victor.T@crick.ac.uk)

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, or in the final stages of PhD completion, in a relevant area (including but not limited to: immunology, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology)
  • Knowledge and experience of genetics, biochemistry, cell biology or immunology
  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in refereed journals
  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and also capable of interacting within a group

Desirable

  • Experience in research using mouse genetics
  • Experience in research on T or B cells
  • Expertise in imaging (project 1)
  • Expertise in proteomics (project 2)
  • Expertise in bioinformatics (project 2)