As part of the “HONOURS” ITN EU network, there are 15 early stage researcher (studying for a PhD) positions available in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
See details below, and specific details of those hosted at the University of Leeds.
Early Stage Researchers in HONOURs
HONOURs is an Innovative Training Network (No: 721367) on host switching pathogens, infectious outbreaks and zoonosis: https://www.honours.eu/home. There are 15 positions for Early Stage Researchers (ESR) at the interface of veterinary and human health, virology, biostatistics, and pathogen discovery, and we are looking for highly motivated and talented students with a MSc degree in Life Sciences who are interested in viruses and infectious diseases. We offer challenging research projects to lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis) at high profile universities, research institutions and companies, located in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The framework of the network, the research projects, and the application form to apply for the ESR positions are presented at the HONOURs website: https://www.honours.eu/vacancies/general-information. Recruitment has started on 15th April 2017.
ESR11: Viral nucleocapsid proteins, their structure and novel diagnostic assays
Host Institute: The University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.
The University of Leeds (UL) is a member of the Russell Group of Research-intensive Universities and has a student population of over 33,000 of which around 9,000 are postgraduates. UL is home to the Astbury Centre for Structural and Molecular Biology (ACSMB), which comprises over 70 principal investigators and 350 researchers with expertise in biochemistry, structural biology and molecular cell biology. ACSMB is one of the largest centres for virus research within the UK, having 13 virus-themed group leaders and over 70 postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers studying viruses. Of significance to this project is the recent purchase by UL of two Titan Krios microscopes with Falcon III detectors, a £10m investment by the university in ASCMB facilities. ASCMB and UL offers an exceptional research environment for talented individuals that are looking for a place where they can excel in virology and structural biology.
Project description: Detailed characterisation of an emerging pathogen is a critical step in mitigating potential disease outcomes, and we believe one way to achieve this is a better understanding of the structure and function of viral components. Dr J. N. Barr has over 20 years research experience of RNA viruses, and recent work together with Dr T. A. Edwards has focussed on understanding the structure/function relationship of many viral proteins. This work has involved structural analysis by X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, and functional analysis using both biochemical and biophysical means, as well as reverse genetics with the rescue of replicons and infectious viruses. This ESR project will focus on characterising a critical component of all negative stranded RNA viruses known as the ribonucleoprotein (RNP), which comprises the viral RNA genome in complex with multiple viral proteins. The viruses we will study include multiple zoonotic negative stranded RNA viruses from the Bunyaviridae, Arenaviridae and Paramyxoviride families. The ESR will use both cryo-EM and crystallography to solve the high resolution structures of RNPs generated from reconstituted components and also extracted from infectious viruses. In addition, the ESR will also have the opportunity to extend their work to include RNPs and other proteins from zoonotic viruses that may emerge within the time frame of the HONOURs project. The ESR appointed to this position (ESR-11) will also work closely with another ESR at UL (ESR-14), who will develop novel diagnostic assays and there will be extensive exchange of antigen and antibody reagents between the ESRs to build synergy. The ESR-11 will join both the Barr and Edwards laboratories, that together comprise a skilled team of 12 PhD students, one technician and three post doctoral fellows.
HONOURs is looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher with a flexible, pro-active team spirit and a recent MSc degree (within the first four years after graduation) in the field of biochemistry, molecular biology, virology or life sciences. Interest and experience in infectious diseases and structural biology is an advantage. Proficiency in English speaking, reading, and writing is a requirement. The applicant should not have obtained her/his degree in the United Kingdom (mobility rule EU). Read the further requirements at https://www.honours.eu/vacancies/general-information
Supervisors: Drs John N Barr and Thomas A Edwards; Duration: 36 months Doctoral defence at the University of Leeds. Planned secondments: INGENASA (Madrid, Spain).
ESR14: Development of impedimetric sensors for emerging negative stranded RNA viruses.
Host Institute: The University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.
The University of Leeds (UL) is a member of the Russell Group of UK-based Research-intensive Universities and has a student population of over 33,000 of which around 9,000 are postgraduates. Within UL, the Faculty of Biological Sciences engages in multidisciplinary cross-faculty research activities that bring together scientists from Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Medicine and Health faculties. Two of the cross-faculty research centres relevant to this ESR are The Centre for Molecular Nanoscience (CMNS), which is an interdisciplinary centre involving approximately 40 academic staff, and The Astbury Centre for Structural and Molecular Biology (ACSMB), which comprises over 70 principal investigators and 350 researchers with expertise in biochemistry, structural biology, virology and molecular cell biology. The combined membership of these centres offers an exceptionally broad and dynamic research environment where talented individuals can excel.
Project description: The rapid, reliable, unambiguous and inexpensive detection of emerging viruses in humans and animals is a critical component of disease surveillance and management. The ESR will develop novel kinds of antigen and antibody detection systems based on impedimetric sensoring on a copolymer coated electrode or optical biosensing using lanthanide-based nanobiosensors. Both techniques are based on biological recognition (between antibody and antigen), which is converted into a measureable electrical or optical signal. The antibody or antigen can be immobilized on an electrode (or nanoparticle) to detect the virus or the antibody, respectively, and binding results in measurable and quantifiable changes in electrochemical impedance or fluorescence emission. The project will focus on novel methods to detect members of the Bunyaviridae and Arenaviridae family of viruses, responsible for devastating zoonotic diseases that pose an emerging threat in Europe. In addition, the ESR will also have the opportunity to extend their work to include zoonotic viruses that may emerge within the time frame of the HONOURs project. The ESR appointed to this position (ESR-14) will also work closely with ESRs at UL (ESR-11) and INGENASA (ESR-10), and there will be extensive exchange of reagents and infectious agents and know-how between the ESRs to build synergy. This ESR project will combine elements of immunosensor design, virology and protein biochemistry.
HONOURs is looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher with a flexible, pro-active team spirit and a recent MSc degree (within the first four years after graduation) in the field of biochemistry, molecular biology, virology or life sciences. The applicant should not have obtained her/his degree in the United Kingdom (mobility rule EU). Read the further requirements at https://www.honours.eu/vacancies/general-information
Supervisors: Prof Dr. Paul Millner, Prof Dr. John N Barr, and Dr. Thomas A Edwards; Duration: 36 months; Doctoral defence at the University of Leeds; Planned secondments: INGENASA (Madrid, Spain).
All applications proceed through the on-line recruitment portal: https://www.honours.eu/vacancies/application-form?f=esr11
Deputy Director Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology
Ass. Professor, School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT Telephone: 0113 343 3031
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