Open PhD Position – Translational Immunology

Updated: 4 months ago

Open PhD Position – Translational Immunology

Seasonal influenza is responsible for hundred housands of deaths and hospitalizations each year worldwide. Vaccines are available, but their efficacy is considerably lower compared to vaccines against other infectious agents. Viral mutations ('antigenic drift') are a major cause of poor vaccine efficacy. Such mutations can result from immune selection pressure or during vaccine development. We aim to investigate how repeated exposure to identical antigen likely contribute to immune escape of the pathogen in humans. We study this in a prospective influenza vaccination cohort using immunophenotyping, immune repertoire analysis, and through collaborations systems approaches.

The translational immunology lab at the department of biomedicine is currently looking for an independent, creative and resilient PhD candidate. You will be working in a small, motivated team investigating questions with very high public relevance. You will be working with established techniques but you are as well expected to extend our research toolbox.

The position is open starting from April 1st 2019. Salary is according to SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) guidelines.

Your position

  • You will harness human vaccination cohorts to study the effect of repetitive vaccination on immune escape and the immune response
  • You will study the cellular and humoral immune response to the vaccine
  • You will design and engineer viruses representing vaccine and circulating variants
  • You will examine the relevance of glycan-binding antibodies in anti-influenza immunity
  • You will investigate viral immune escape with e.g. Luminex assays, hemagglutination inhibition etc...
  • You will establish an in vitro infection assay to study immune selection


Your profile

  • Master's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or a related field
  • Interest in human immunology and virology
  • Broad experience with molecular biology techniques
  • Knowledge in handling bioinformatics tools
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a small team
  • Fluency in English


We offer you

  • A translational research project closely related to a clinical question
  • Careful introduction into the subject matter
  • State-of-the art facilities
  • Participation in weekly lab meetings with affiliated immunology research groups
  • International collaboration with the possibility to get training abroad


Application / Contact

Please send your application including a CV and cover letter (including your motivation and 2 references) to christoph.berger@usb.ch. Or via mail to Dr. Christoph T. Berger, Department of Biomedicine, Research group Translational Immunology, Hebelstrasse 20, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.


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