Bioinformatician, UCD PHPSS

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Ireland,
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 24 Jun 2022

Applications are invited for a Temporary post of a Bioinformatician within UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science

Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms embedded in a self-secreted matrix and usually associated with surfaces. These are the most common mode of bacterial growth and can be formed and grown either on natural substrates, or on artificial surfaces such as medical devices or drainage pipes. Naturally formed biofilms principally comprise diverse communities of species regardless of the surface nature. The natural growth of multispecies biofilm offers a number of advantages to the embedded bacteria including suitable conditions for species to co-aggregate, improved usage of by-product metabolites, higher biovolume of biofilms, reduced antimicrobial susceptibility, protection of multidrug resistant bacteria, enhanced gene exchange, protection from desiccation of susceptible species by exopolysaccharide (EPS) producers. Biofilm resistance to antimicrobial agents has been attributed to the presence of an exopolymeric matrix, the expression of specific genes, such as those encoding efflux pumps and an environment conducive to gene exchange. Whilst biofilms have been implicated in harbouring multidrug resistant organisms (MDRO) and together with their implication in infection being clear, surprisingly little is known about their role in disseminating AMR genes. A few studies have focussed on naturally occurring environmental biofilms to explore horizontal transfer of AMR genes and the associated abundance of AMR genes following long (monthly) exposure to sub-inhibitory concentration of an antimicrobial agent. Yet, more comprehensive studies looking globally at differences in biofilm and their role in AMR gene transfer in One Health compartments are lacking.

COMBAT represents a multidisciplinary consortium which aims to understand and control AMR emergence and dissemination in complex biofilms. The consortium will achieve this aim by gaining a better understanding of the nature of complex biofilms and their control in 3 One Health areas: healthcare, domiciliary and veterinary. By using a newly established small scale complex biofilm model, COMBAT will provide new information on microbial diversity in three complex reproducible biofilms of importance to One Health, AMR gene abundance and transfer attempting to highlight key comparative differences. Further this work will provide a robust platform to evaluate trial interventions designed to deliver a measurable impact in preventing AMR dissemination. In doing so, COMBAT will optimise cost-effective interventions to minimise the spread of AMR in 3 One health areas.

This is a research-focused role, where you will conduct a specified programme of research supported by research training and development under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator. The primary purpose of the role is to further develop your research skills and competences, including the processes of publication in peer-reviewed academic publications, the development of funding proposals, the mentorship of graduate students along with the opportunity to develop your skills in research led teaching.

Fixed salary: €85,000 per annum

Closing date: 17:00hrs (local Irish time) on 24th June 2022

Applications must be submitted by the closing date and time specified. Any applications which are still in progress at the closing time of 17:00hrs (Local Irish Time) on the specified closing date will be cancelled automatically by the system. UCD are unable to accept late applications.

UCD do not require assistance from Recruitment Agencies. Any CV's submitted by Recruitment Agencies will be returned.


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