PhD Studentship - Fungal Infections

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Ireland,
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 24 Jan 2021

Post Specification

  • Post Title: PhD Studentship - Fungal Infections
  • Department / School: Department of Clinical Microbiology, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
  • Location: Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland
  • Reports to: Johannes Wagener, Associate Professor / Consultant (wagenerj@tcd.ie )
  • Terms & Conditions: Stipend (€16,000 per year) and academic fee coverage
  • Closing Date: 12 Noon (GMT), 24th January 2021

NOTE: Applicants must have been resident in an EU member state for 3 out of the last 5 years to be eligible for EU fees

Post Summary

Fungi cause a wide range of diseases in humans and animals. With an increasing number of immunocompromised patients, the frequency of life-threatening invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in humans is on the rise. Main reasons for the often-fatal outcome of these infections are late diagnosis, inefficient treatment options and antifungal resistance. The group’s research focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and infection biology of fungal infections.

The successful candidate will become part of a group with international co-workers and will conduct basic research in the area of IFIs. The candidate will identify new mechanisms that allow the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus to survive when challenged by immune cells and in the presence of antifungal drugs. Using A. fumigatus as a model, the PhD student will characterize signalling pathways that enable fungi to overcome stress conditions. The student will learn and apply basic research techniques, which will involve culturing and working with microorganisms, isolation of immune cells, molecular biology, cell biology, the construction of mutants, and confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Selected Publications:

  • Geißel B, Loiko V, Klugherz I, Zhu Z, Wagener N, Kurzai O, van den Hondel CAMJJ, Wagener J. Azole-induced cell wall carbohydrate patches kill Aspergillus fumigatus. Nat Commun. 2018;9(1):3098. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05497-7.
  • Ruf D, Brantl V, Wagener J. Mitochondrial Fragmentation in Aspergillus fumigatus as Early Marker of Granulocyte Killing Activity. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2018;8:128. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2018.00128.
  • Dichtl K, Samantaray S, Aimanianda V, Zhu Z, Prévost MC, Latgé JP, Ebel F, Wagener J. Aspergillus fumigatus devoid of cell wall β-1,3-glucan is viable, massively sheds galactomannan and is killed by septum formation inhibitors. Mol Microbiol. 2015;95(3):458-71. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12877.
  • Sturm L, Geißel B, Martin R, Wagener J. Differentially Regulated Transcription Factors and ABC Transporters in a Mitochondrial Dynamics Mutant Can Alter Azole Susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus. Front Microbiol. 2020 May 26;11:1017. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.01017.

The student will primarily work in a medical mycology research group at Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, and Sir Patrick Dun Labs at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin and collaborate closely with experienced members of the team in Trinity and at University of Munich, Germany, and University of Würzburg, Germany.

Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Post

The successful candidate will undertake postgraduate research in the area of IFIs. He/she will learn and exert techniques such as genetic manipulation of fungal cells, isolation of immune cells, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, SDS-PAGE, Western blot, PCR, fluorescence microscopy, and bioinformatics. The PhD student will regularly participate in group meetings and institutional seminars, which includes progress reports about ongoing research. The PhD student is expected to present project results on scientific conferences and publish research outputs in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. The successful candidate will work effectively and closely with other members of a multidisciplinary and international team of basic scientists and physician scientists.

Person Specification

Qualifications

The ideal applicant has a first or upper second-class bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree or a master’s degree in Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Medicine, Immunology, or a related discipline.

Knowledge & Experience

You have a profound interest in:

  • cell biology and infection biology
  • molecular biology and genetics
  • immunology
  • antimicrobials

You have experience in one or several of the following:

  • molecular biology (e.g., PCR, cloning of plasmids)
  • protein biochemistry, signalling pathways
  • cell culture, or culturing of bacteria, or culturing of fungi
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • immune cell isolation

Application Procedure

Applicants should submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, copies of certificates, and names of up to three academic references as a single PDF file by e-mail (subject line: ASP2021_EU) to Johannes Wagener (wagenerj@tcd.ie ).

Further Information for Applicants

A full post advert is available upon request. Informal enquiries about this post can be made to Johannes Wagener (wagenerj@tcd.ie ).


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