An exciting Research Technician position in the laboratory of Moritz Treeck is available on a 5-year Wellcome Trust funded investigator award to investigate the complex interaction of effector proteins that one of the most successful parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, injects into its host cells. Toxoplasma is remarkable for a pathogen, as it is a true generalist that infects any nucleated cell of any warm-blooded animal, including ~30% of the human population. To do that, the parasite secretes effector proteins into the host cells to rewire their normal behaviour in the parasites’ favour, ranging from the cell autonomous immune response within the infected cell to altered cytokine secretion, thus creating a favourable infection environment.
Only a few of the ~220 predicted effector proteins and their effects on the host have been characterized, often leading to important and novel insights into host-pathogen interaction. However, the majority of the effectors are of unknown function and hold great promise to uncover novel mechanisms as to how the parasite subverts the host immune response. The aim of this project is to identify novel effectors that act on the host cell transcriptional response in various cell types and species in a high-throughput fashion. Novel methods have been developed in the lab to address this question, such as the PerturbSEQ technology that combines parasite CRISPR screens (Young J, et al., 2019, PMID: 31481656) and single-cell RNAseq experiments of the infected host cell. The mechanism by which the novel effector proteins function will be studied using both cell culture and murine in vivo systems, with a major focus on those that affect the overall immune response of the host in a paracrine manner. Ultimately, we aim to identify and characterise all effector proteins that Toxoplasma exports into various host cells of assorted species which alter the host transcriptional response.
You will be working alongside 3 postdocs on this project, leading your own research but also provide support, specifically with mouse experiments. The ideal post holder is a highly motivated individual that brings experience working with mice, ideally from an innate immunology perspective.
We provide a highly collaborative and diverse working environment and the lab currently consists of 6 postdocs, 3 PhD students and 2 senior visiting scientists from various scientific background (see www.treecklab.org). We approach science in an open and collaborative way and enjoy the process.
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- If you are interested in applying for this role, please apply via our website.
- There is no closing date for this job: applications will be assessed until a suitable candidate has been found. The anticipated start is from February 2022. Later, or earlier start dates are possible.
- A cover letter detailing how your skills and research interests align with this position is essential.
- All offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom.
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Qualifications, experience and competencies
- Good knowledge and experience in immunology (innate immunology)
- Technical expertise in handling mice
- Technical expertise in immunological methods (Elisa, analysis of immune cell populations using FACS, isolation of immune cells)
- Experience of experimental design
- Ability to work independently and also capable of interacting within a group
- Experience in basic molecular biology techniques (DNA cloning, PCR)
- Experience in cell biology techniques (IFA, Western blot)
- Experience in contributing to writing of research papers.