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LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE (University of London) Department of Infectious & Tropical Diseases Pathogen Molecular Biology Unit Post Doctoral Scientist We are seeking to appoint a Post-doctoral Scientist to work in a dynamic and productive research laboratory with Professor Polly Roy. Professor Roy’s laboratory is currently involved in various aspects of Bluetongue virus research, including reverse genetics and transcription/replication processes. The successful applicant should have a PhD in virology, with proven postdoctoral research experience, experience of protein expression and purification, mammalian RNA viruses and/or virus purification. Applicants should be highly motivated and able to work both independently and in a team environment. The post is available from 1 December 2009. Salary is from £30,639 to £35,194 per annum, inclusive. Applications should be made on-line via our website at http://jobs.lshtm.ac.uk The reference for this post is PR17. Applications should also include a CV and the names and email contacts of 2 referees who can be contacted immediately if shortlisted. Closing date for the receipt of applications is 12 November 2009. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is committed to being an equal opportunities employer 2. GENERAL INFORMATION The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has an internationally excellent reputation in public health and tropical medicine, is a leading postgraduate medical Institution in Europe and is Britain’s national school of public health. The School was ranked one of the top 3 research institutions in the country in the Times Higher Education’s 'table of excellence', which is based on the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), ahead of the London School of Economics, Oxford, Imperial and University College, London. The institution also achieved the largest increase in ranking compared with 2001 of any of the top 10 institutions in the RAE rankings. The School was awarded the 2009 annual Gates Award for Global Health, both the first academic institution to win the award and the first British winner. A special strength of the School’s research is its multi-disciplinary nature: leading researchers have backgrounds in public health medicine, epidemiology, clinical medicine, infectious diseases, chemotherapy, biochemistry, immunology, genetics, molecular biology, entomology, statistics, demography, health economics, public health engineering, medical anthropology, health promotion, environmental health management, and health policy. The mission of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is to contribute to the improvement of health world-wide through the pursuit of excellence in research, postgraduate teaching and advanced training in national and international public health and tropical medicine, and through informing policy and practice in these areas. Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases The Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases encompasses all of the laboratory-based research in the School as well as that on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of infectious and tropical diseases. It is headed by Simon Croft, who is Professor of Parasitology. The range of disciplines represented in the department is very broad and inter-disciplinary research is a feature of much of our activity. The spectrum of diseases studied is wide and there are major research groups with a focus on malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, vaccine development and evaluation, and vector biology and disease control. The Department is organised into four large research units comprising: Pathogen Molecular Biology, Immunology, Disease Control and Vector Biology, and Clinical Research. There is close interaction between scientists in different research teams. The Department has strong overseas links, which provide a basis for field studies and international collaborations in developed and developing countries. The teaching programme includes MSc courses, taught in-house and by distance learning, which are modular in structure, a variety of short-courses and an active doctoral programme (PhD and DrPH). Immunology Unit (Head: Professor Eleanor Riley) Research in the Immunology Unit centres on analysis of the host response to infection at the molecular, cellular and population levels. The goals are to develop a greater understanding of basic mechanisms of immunological protection versus pathology, and to apply this knowledge to the development of immunological interventions and the identification of correlates of immune status. Our work involves application of state-of-the-art cellular and molecular approaches to the in vitro analysis of pathogen-host cell interactions, to in vivo studies in models and to the study of immunity at the population level in disease endemic areas. Main areas of research include the regulation of acute and chronic inflammation; macrophagepathogen interactions; cellular pharmacology; the production of cytokines during innate and acquired immune responses; T-cell function and antigen recognition; the mechanisms of immunopathology; the development of vaccines; and delivery systems for vaccines and drugs. Current research includes the role of acute phase proteins in resistance to infection, homeostasis and inflammatory disease, mechanisms of macrophage activation, control of cytokine synthesis and mammalian lectin interactions (J. Raynes); intracellular trafficking and secretory pathways of cells of the immune system (T. Ward); the role of innate responses in resistance to the bacterial pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Burkholderia pseudomallei, activity and regulation of natural killer cells and their effect on macrophage activation and recruitment, regulation of chemokine receptors during infection and granulomatous tissue responses in the lung against Cryptococcus neoformans and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (G. Bancroft); correlates of protection against tuberculosis and studies of BCG vaccination, human CD8+ T-cell responses to mycobacterial antigens and synthetic peptides, use of whole blood assays in immuno-epidemiology (H. Dockrell); cytokine and chemokine responses to leprosy, cellular composition and effects of steroids on skin and nerve lesions of reactional leprosy, identification of specific peptides for immunodiagnosis of leprosy (S. Young); innate and adaptive immunity to malaria including activation of natural killer cells, cytokine regulation in clinical immunity and immunopathology, regulation of antibody production and immunoglobulin class switching (E. Riley); transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria including antibody responses to gametocyte-infected erythrocyte surface antigens, effect of gamete antigen variability on transmission, gametocyte sequestration and development and gametocyticidal drug therapy (C. Sutherland); characterisation of protective immune mechanisms and defined antigens in attenuated vaccine models of schistosomiasis (Q. Bickle); impact of concomitant viral, bacterial, protozoal and helminth infections on induction of immune responses and immunopathology and T cell regulation and induction of mucosal immune responses during intestinal nematode infections (H. Helmby); the identification and evaluation of novel drugs and drug delivery systems for leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis and malaria, interaction between antiprotozoal drugs and the immune response (L. Vivas, V. Yardley) Pathogen Molecular Biology Unit (Head: Professor Brendan Wren) Research in the PMB Unit focuses on the molecular biology and genetics of pathogens and their hosts in the context of improving the understanding and control of infectious diseases. Aspects of pathogen biology of interest include: (i) determining the mechanisms of infection of globally important viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens; (ii) deciphering the genetic diversity of selected disease agents in natural populations and to determine its epidemiological impact, (iii) studying immune evasion mechanisms of particular disease agents, (iv) exploiting parasitic, bacterial and viral pathogens as model biological systems and (v) developing practical applications including improved diagnostic tests and the identification and characterisation of vaccine candidates and drug targets. PMBU currently has funding to investigate, amongst others, the malaria parasite (Plasmodium spp), Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi), African sleeping sickness (Trypanosoma brucei), amoebic dysentery (Entamoeba), the Leishmania species, bacterial food borne pathogens (Campylobacter jejuni and Yersinia enterocolitica), gastric ulcers/cancer (Helicobacter pylori), pseudomembranous colitis (Clostridium difficile), plague (Yersinia pestis), paddy field melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei), Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), Pneumonia (Streptococcus pneumoniae), Bluetongue viral disease of livestock, Herpesviridae, SARS, the hemorrhagic fever virus (RVFV) and the enteric rotavirus that cause significant diarrhoeal disease in infants developing countries. The long-term aim of PMBU research is to gain a fully rounded understanding of the complex and dynamic ways by which pathogens modulate virulence and interact with the human host. Such a holistic approach will vastly increase the scope for the rational of design of long-term intervention strategies to reduce the burden of infectious disease. In recent years such a mission has been significantly enhanced by the availability of whole genome sequences. Members of the Unit are, or have been, involved in several pathogen genome projects including Herpes, Campylobacter jejuni, Yersinia pestis, Clostridium difficile, Entamoeba and Trypanosome species. In particular, post genome studies have facilitated research on more complex parasites such as Plasmodium, Entamoeba and Trypanosome species. The interpretation and exploitation of this basic information is the platform for numerous new avenues of research on pathogenesis, epidemiology and the evolution of virulence. Clinical Research Unit (Head: Dr Alison Grant) The Clinical Research Unit addresses infectious diseases of major public health importance in developing countries. Activities include trials of new therapies, vaccines and educational interventions; the development of new diagnostic tests; studies to elucidate the immunological and molecular correlates of pathogenesis and protective immunity, and to identify genetic polymorphisms conferring protection or susceptibility to infectious diseases; health services research which aims to identify the most efficient and cost-effective way to deliver health care; and health policy analysis. In addition to our many overseas collaborations, we have close links with the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, in new, purpose-built accommodation on the main UCL Hospital campus, five minutes walk from the School. The Wellcome Trust Bloomsbury Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine is based in the Unit, and currently supports five Clinical Training Fellows and two Career Development Fellows, most of whom are based overseas. Much of the Unit's research concerns HIV and related infections; in particular, the interaction between HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases, and between HIV infection and tuberculosis. We have longstanding and fruitful collaborations addressing these issues in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and South Africa. Brian Greenwood FRS is leading an initiative to strengthen malaria research in the School through new collaborative links in Africa. Research and teaching on blinding diseases in developing countries has been greatly strengthened by the recruitment of Allen Foster, who is Medical Director of CBM International, an NGO with programmes for the prevention of blindness and disability in over 100 countries; our research on trachoma has played an important part in framing the strategies adopted by the WHO and the new International Trachoma Initiative for the elimination of blinding trachoma by the year 2020. Disease Control and Vector Biology Unit (Head: Dr Nigel Hill) This multidisciplinary Unit includes epidemiologists, entomologists, anthropologists and social scientists, clinical scientists, public health engineers, and geographers. This range of expertise provides us with a battery of tools for focusing on the control of diseases that are insect-borne, water-borne or associated with poor hygiene – mostly in developing countries. Much of the research can be categorised as: evaluating disease control interventions; investigating implementation strategies - including working with the private sector; understanding the factors underlying household behaviour in relation to family health; or determining how control resources can be targeted most efficiently. Particular attention is paid to research directed at current health policy issues, including the gap between policy and practice. The DFID Resource Centre for Water and Environmental Health (WELL) and the Hygiene Centre make up the Unit's Environmental Health Group, which plays a leadership role in research and operational support for hygiene promotion, water supply and sanitation. The Unit also houses the largest research group in LSHTM working on malaria control, including the DIFD Team for Applied Research to Generate Effective Tools and Strategies for communicable disease control (TARGETs) and many staff in the Gates Malaria Partnership. The Unit’s valuable mosquito colonies are used for testing repellent products and insecticides in the laboratory. The Unit also includes a major grouping of researchers using spatial analysis in public health. Teaching The School offers 22 one year full-time taught courses leading to the Master of Science (MSc) degree of the University of London and the Diploma of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (DLSHTM). The Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases runs or contributes substantially to ten of these courses and the “Immunology of Infectious Diseases” course is run from within the Immunology Unit. In addition, the Department is responsible for the three-month Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) and offers a range of specialist short courses lasting usually one or two weeks. Three MSc courses are also offered by Distance-based Learning, including one on Infectious Diseases. Research Training The School offers two doctoral training programmes. The MPhil/PhD degrees are designed for those who wish to go on to a full time research career. The DrPH is directed towards those who expect their careers to be more in the practice of public health. 3. JOB DESCRIPTION Post: Post-doctoral Scientist Responsible to: Professor Polly Roy Unit: Infectious and Tropical Diseases Start date: 1 December 2009 Main duties and responsibilities: To contribute to the research of the virology group led by Professor Polly Roy, currently on various aspects of double-stranded RNA virus research including genome packaging, reverse genetics, transcription/replication processes, viral packaging, virus assembly mechanisms, virus entry receptors, virus-host interactions and protein crystallisation and development of novel vaccines. To be responsible for setting up experimental systems, as required, offering the opportunity to show a degree of innovation and creative problem-solving. To demonstrate appropriate conduct for a research worker including co-operating with others in the laboratory, sharing communal tasks, showing a responsible attitude to safety issues and contributing to the academic life of the Unit, Department and School. 4. PERSON SPECIFICATION Essential - PhD or equivalent qualification in Virology - Proven post-doctoral technical experience in molecular virology, molecular biology or biochemistry - Experience in mammalian RNA viruses, RNA packaging and RNA-protein interaction - Analytical and problem solving abilities - Ability to work independently and as part of a team - good interpersonal skills Desirable - Experience with baculovirus expression system including protein and particle expression - Experience with genome packaging, virus entry receptors and reverse genetics - Experience with animal viruses - Computing skills, particular using the www, Word, Excel, Powerpoint 5. SALARY AND CONDITIONS OF APPOINTMENT The post is for a period of 2 years and is available from 1 December 2009 to 30 November 2011. Salary is on the Academic Pathway Grade 5, Research Assistant salary scale from £30,639 to £35,194 per annum (inclusive). Annual leave entitlement is 30 working days per year for all staff (pro-rata for part-time staff). In addition to this there are 6 fixed-date "Director's Days". 6. APPLICATIONS We encourage you to apply for this post online at our website jobs.lshtm.ac.uk. The reference for this post will be PR17. Online applications will be accepted by the automated system until midnight on 12 November 2009. If you are unable to apply online, please contact us at [email protected] or telephone 0207 927 2173. The supporting statement section should set out how your qualifications, experience and training meet each of the selection criteria. Please provide one or more paragraphs addressing each criterion. The supporting statement is an essential part of the selection process and thus a failure to provide this information will mean that the application will not be considered. An answer to any of the criteria such as “Please see attached CV” will not be considered acceptable. It is hoped that interviews will be held in the week commencing 23 November 2009. Please note that if you are shortlisted and are unable to attend on the interview date it may not be possible to offer you an alternative date. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is committed to being an equal opportunities employer.