Post-Doc Research Associate

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA
Deadline: 10 Mar 2023

Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit
The UNC School of Medicine has a rich tradition of excellence and care. Our mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians, and others whom we serve. We accomplish this by providing leadership and excellence in the interrelated areas of patient care, education, and research. We strive to promote faculty, staff, and learner development in a diverse, respectful environment where our colleagues demonstrate professionalism, enhance learning, and create personal and professional sustainability. We optimize our partnership with the UNC Health System through close collaboration and commitment to service.

Our vision is to be the nation’s leading public school of medicine. We are ranked 2nd in primary care education among all US schools of medicine and 5th among public peers in NIH research funding. Our Allied Health Department is home to five top-ranked divisions, and we are home to 18 top-ranked clinical and basic science departments in NIH research funding.
Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians and others whom we serve. We accomplish this by providing leadership and excellence in the interrelated areas of patient care, education, and research.
Patient Care: We will promote health and provide superb clinical care while maintaining our strong tradition of reaching underserved populations and reducing health disparities across North Carolina and beyond.
Education: We will prepare tomorrow’s health care professionals and biomedical researchers by facilitating learning within innovative curricula and team-oriented interprofessional education. We will cultivate outstanding teaching and research faculty, and we will recruit outstanding students and trainees from highly diverse backgrounds to create a socially responsible, highly skilled workforce.
Research: We will develop and support a rich array of outstanding health sciences research programs, centers, and resources. We will provide infrastructure and opportunities for collaboration among disciplines throughout and beyond our University to support outstanding research. We will foster programs in the areas of basic, translational, mechanistic, and population research.

Position Summary
We are seeking highly motivated postdoctoral research associates to perform basic and translational research in the laboratories of Drs. Angela Wahl, Martina Kovarova and J. Victor Garcia, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and Center for AIDS Research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
We work with a multidisciplinary team of investigators from academia, government, and industry to develop and use precision animal models to study fundamental aspects of the immune system during health and disease and interactions between human-specific pathogens and their host. Our work is funded by multiple NIH grant awards, private foundation investments, and federal government contracts. Areas of research in our laboratories include:
1) HIV Persistence and Cure: We are using state of the art precision animal models to study the contribution of different cell types and compartments throughout the body to the establishment and maintenance of the long-lived HIV reservoir (Nature Medicine, 2017, 23(5):638; Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016, 126: 424; Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2018, 128(7):2862). We also use these models to evaluate the efficacy of new HIV cure strategies (Nature, 2020, 578(7793):160; Nature, 2020, 578(7793):154; Cell Reports, 2017, 21(3):600; PLoS Pathogens, 2014, 10(1):1003872).
2) HIV Transmission and Prevention: In collaboration with academic, government, and industry partners, we are studying the mechanisms of HIV transmission (sexual, intravenous, mother-to-child) to aid the development of novel HIV prevention and therapeutic approaches. (Nature Communications, 2018, 10(1):4324; Science Translational Medicine, 2019, 11(499):eaap8756, Nature Communications, 2019, 9(1): 4156; Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016, 126(4):1353; Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016, 126(3):892; Cell, 2015, 163(3):746; PLoS Pathogens, 2015, 11(8):e1005075; PLoS Pathogens, 2012, 8(6):e1002732)
3) The Microbiome in Health and Disease: Together with our industry and government partners, we are developing novel precision animal models to investigate the role of the human microbiome in health and disease and its interactions with human pathogens of high clinical relevance. We are particularly interested in the role of the microbiome in drug metabolism, cancer development, and infectious disease. We currently have a large multi-institutional NIH-funded program to evaluate the role of human gut microbiota in HIV acquisition, pathogenesis, and persistence. This work is also supported in part by the National Gnotobiotic Rodent Resource Center located at UNC.
4) In vivo analysis of the interaction between clinically relevant human pathogens and their host including COVID-19: We are also interested in collaborative studies that use the novel precision animal models developed in our laboratories to perform basic and translational research on a variety of emerging and highly clinically relevant human pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, Zika virus, EBV, RSV, Rhinovirus, Metapneumovirus, Influenza virus, mycobacteria, and CMV (Nature Biotechnology, 2019, 37:1163).
Postdoctoral research associates will be highly encouraged to submit applications for postdoctoral fellowship awards from relevant institutional, government and foundation organizations. Postdoctoral research associates will also have the opportunity to prepare and submit abstracts to attend national and international conferences.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements
A D.V.M., M.D., and/or Ph.D. in Microbiology, Virology, Molecular Biology, or other related fields is required.

Required Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience
Candidates should be self-motivated and have strong laboratory and analytical skills as demonstrated by a strong track record of relevant publications. Outstanding communication skills, as well as the ability to work well in a highly collaborative team environment, are essential.

Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience
Previous experience in a clinical research setting

Please apply online at

Proposed Start Date: 02/01/2023
Department Contact Name and Title: Jena Kiser
Department Contact Telephone or Email:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

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