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Research Assistant in B-cell Bioinformatics


University of Cambridge Department of Veterinary Medicine West Cambridge Site

Limit of Tenure: 30 April 2018

Applications are invited for this research position, funded by Innovate UK, on a project aiming to develop new vaccines for Emerging Viral Diseases.

The main focus of the research is to use computational methods, virus sequence databases, Immunoglobulin gene sequencing and neutralising epitope data to computationally evolve improved methods design synthetic vaccine inserts for emerging viral diseases. We will be using glycoprotein-based vaccine approaches for Ebola virus, Lassa virus, and Marburg virus as a proof of principle in a consortium of UK partners and 1 EU partner. The project will involve the bioinformatics analysis of viral sequences, antigen design using structural bioinformatics approaches, and epitope enrichment, using empirical data from existing monoclonal antibodies, as well as in silico predictions of epitopes. In addition to bioinformatics analysis, there is also a more traditional statistical component involved in the analysis of data from experiments on glycoprotein binding, pseudotype neutralisation by monoclonal antibodies, antibody competition and neutralisation by sera.

The project is based at the Lab of Viral Zoonotics (LVZ), Dept. of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge and this role is supervised by Dr Simon Frost, in collaboration with Prof. Ralf Wagner, University of Regensburg; the role will include working at the University of Regensburg with Prof. Wagner on the design and synthesis of vaccine inserts based on the analyses of viral variation. The PI of the overall project is Prof. Jonathan Heeney, head of the LVZ.

Applicants should have qualifications at Degree level. A background in the molecular biology of B-cells, immunoglobulin gene sequencing and analysis with computational skills. A strong background in B-cell immunology and experience in analysis of immunoglobulin genes would be advantageous. The candidate must value teamwork and collaboration, have good administrative and interpersonal skills, and high computer literacy, including proficiency in data handling, and databases.

Closing date: 21 January 2018 Interviews will be held on: To be confirmed

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 30 April 2018 in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applicants should submit a CHRIS/6, CV, covering letter outlining suitability for the role and contact details for two references. Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application. Further particulars for the role and information about the Department www.vet.cam.ac.uk

Please quote reference PP14358 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online