The Department of Biomedicine at Faculty of Health at Aarhus University invites applications for a position as Postdoc in the field of CRISPR/Cas-based gene editing as per 1 September 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is a fixed-term full-time position for 30 months.
The department of Biomedicine prioritizes diversity and a good work environment, as this is a prerequisite for groundbreaking research. In a dynamic and international research environment, dedicated employees are looking to generate new knowledge within biomedical research areas such as infection and inflammation, membranes, neuroscience and personalized medicine. The Department of Biomedicine provides research-based teaching of the highest quality and is responsible for a large part of the medical degree programme. Academic staff contribute to the teaching. English is the preferred language in the laboratory, at meetings and at seminars. The department employs approx. 500 people from all over the world, and they make use of the department's modern laboratory-, core- and animal facilities.
The Department of Biomedicine focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration with business and industry, and numerous researchers from the department have established companies to develop new medicinal treatments founded in strong scientific basic research. You can read more about the department here and about the faculty here .
About the research project
Gene editing using CRISPR/Cas has the potential to cure severe genetic diseases caused by inherited gene variants. ‘Prime editing’ is a novel gene editing modality based on copying of small pieces of DNA from the prime editing guide RNA (pegRNA) molecule, the short RNA molecule used to guide the CRISPR/Cas9 protein to predetermined loci in the human genome.
With prime editing, disease-causing genes can be corrected independent of low-efficient DNA repair pathways and without breaking the DNA. This project focuses on one of the key challenges on the path toward clinical translation of prime editing: delivery of the prime editor protein/RNA complex. With the aim of correcting gene variants causing primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) in patients seen at Aarhus University Hospital, we will investigate prime editing in cell lines, human hematopoietic stem cells, and a PID mouse model.
To identify potent pegRNAs targeting PID-relevant genes, we will screen pegRNA libraries. We will perform genome-wide CRISPR screens to identify cellular proteins affecting prime editing in stem cells as well as host factors affecting delivery of CRISPR tool kits.
A variety of methods, including integrase-defective lentiviral vectors, lentivirus-derived nanoparticles and lipid nanoparticles will be investigated as vehicles of prime editing tool kits to hematopoietic stem cells. As a postdoc on this project, you will be responsible for establishing and streamlining larger-scale lentivirus productions with the goal of optimizing delivery of CRISPR ribonucleoprotein complexes using lentivirus-derived nanoparticles for in vivo purposes.
Your job responsibilities
As Postdoc in Immunology of Viral Infections your position is primarily research-based but may also involve teaching assignments. You will contribute to the development of the department through research of high international quality. In your daily work, you will work closely with colleagues on your project, where you will receive supervision and guidance.
Your main tasks will consist of:
- Performing independent research of high international quality, including publication.
- Working independently on investigating prime editing as an approach for therapeutic gene editing.
- Investigating lentiviral delivery approaches, including lentivirus-derived nanoparticles, for ex vivo and in vivo administration of gene editing tool kits.
- Establishing larger-scale production (including purification protocols) of lentiviral vectors and Cas/gRNA-loaded lentivirus-derived nanoparticles.
- Handling and performing gene editing in hematopoietic stem cells.
- Performing genome-wide CRISPR screens based on an already established pipeline, involving library design and production, handling of libraries in bacteria, production of Cas9-expressing reporter cell lines, lentiviral vector production, evaluation of transfer efficacy, next-generation sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis of NGS data.
- Supervising younger colleagues.
- Building research relationships within the group and the department.
- Contributing to teaching in genetics of medical students and students in molecular medicine
You will report to the Head of Department of Biomedicine.
You have academic qualifications at PhD level, preferably within genetics, molecular biology, and genetic engineering. You are expected to have up-to-date knowledge on and hands-on experience with cell biology including CRISPR technology and genetic engineering in general. Documented expertise with cutting-edge methods of relevance for the project, including virus-based vector technologies, in particular lentiviral vectors, is essential.
You are expected to be able to lead all aspects of the project, including cell work, virus production pipelines, and molecular characterization. It is essential that you are interested in delivery technologies for CRISPR gene therapies and have a profound interest in understanding virus-based delivery and using this knowledge to innovate technologies for administration of genetic drugs.
You will be working in an independent manner, and must have ambitions and skills to develop the project to the highest international level. The project bridges research activities in several ongoing research projects, and you are expected therefore to interact with other researchers in the group and to help supervise younger colleagues. You should assist to an inclusive and respectful research environment, and we expect you to be fluent in oral and written English.
At the personal level, you are proactive with a visible and significant drive in the lab. Furthermore, you are also happy to mentor and guide colleagues and students in the lab. You are responsible and take ownership, but are not afraid to share your ideas with colleagues. You are constructive and creative, but also determined to and focused on driving the project and realizing your ideas at the bench.
In order to be assessed as qualified for a Postdoc position, you must meet these academic criteria .
Questions about the position
If you have any questions about the position, please contact the Principal Investigator, Professor Jacob Giehm Mikkelsen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your place of work will be the Department of Biomedicine, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 10, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
We expect to conduct interviews in week 25.
Shortlisting will be used
Terms of employmentApplication
Your application must include the following:
- Motivated application
- Curriculum Vitae
- Template for applicant - postdoc
- A list of publications
- A teaching portfolio. We refer to Guideline on the use of teaching portfolios
- A maximum of five of the publications of greatest relevance to the job may be submitted (optional)
- Research plan can be uploaded (optional)
- Coauthor statement(s) can be uploaded (optional)
- References/recommendations can be uploaded separately in the e-recruitment system (optional)
We refer to the faculty’sGuidelines for applicants
The assessment committee may decide to include non-submitted material in its statement. In such cases, you will be informed and obliged to submit material, unless your application is withdrawn.
Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.
Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.
Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including assistance with relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about the International Staff Office and the range of services here . Aarhus University also has a Junior Researcher Association and offers career development support. You can read more about these resources here .
The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,300 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 935 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/
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