PhD candidate ‘Unraveling and targeting complement evasion strategies of malaria parasites’ (VIDI project)
Malaria is a devastating disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes. Novel drugs and vaccines are urgently needed …
- Geert Grooteplein Zuid, Nijmegen, Gelderland
- Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
- Uren per week:
- 36 - 36 uur
- € 2422 - € 3103 per maand
Malaria is a devastating disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes. Novel drugs and vaccines are urgently needed since drug-resistant strains are spreading rapidly and the only vaccine available has limited efficacy. During various stages of its life-cycle, the parasite is under attack from the human complement system. The complement system is part of the innate immune system and consists of soluble serum proteins that, upon activation, initiate lysis, phagocytosis and inflammation. The effect of complement on parasite survival and how the parasite evades complement is poorly understood. Better understanding of the interaction between parasite and complement can provide new leads for vaccines against malaria.
This PhD project has two aims: i) to characterise complement evasion mechanisms at the molecular level and ii) to understand the importance of these mechanisms to parasite survival. Activities of the PhD candidate will include the purification of complement inhibitors from parasite extracts and heterologous expression systems. The PhD candidate will use these proteins to conduct in vitro complement assays to obtain mechanistic insight in complement invasion. This work will be supported by crystallographic studies in collaboration with researchers at the University of Oxford. Finally, the PhD candidate will generate mutant parasites using CRISPR/Cas9 and characterise these to understand the importance of the inhibitors for parasite survival.
We are looking for an ambitious, talented PhD candidate with an interest in both immunology and the biology of malaria. Affinity and experience with biochemistry, molecular biology and immunology are desired qualities of the envisaged PhD candidate.
A master's degree in Molecular Life Sciences, Biology, Biomedical Sciences or a related subject. Scientific interest in infectious diseases and biology.
- An independent and well-structured working style, demanding high quality of your own work.
- Well-developed social skills directed to work in an interdisciplinary and international team, excellent interpersonal and communicative skills.
- Strong motivation and ambition to succeed in scientific research.
- Excellent presentation and scientific writing skills.
- As a PhD candidate, you will be initially appointed for a period of 4 years. Your performance will be evaluated after 2 months. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended.
- You will be ranked in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO) as a PhD candidate (promovendus).
- International candidates who feel qualified for the job are strongly encouraged to apply.
- Start 1st of January 2020.
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Additional informationCandidates should send their applications including a motivation letter (max. 1 page), a cv (including a list of grades obtained during your MSc study), and the names and contact details of two persons who can provide references to Dr. Matthijs Jore.
All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Matthijs More, postdoc Medical Microbiology. Use the Apply button to submit your application.
Please apply before 2 October.
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