PhD Candidate in Virology and Vaccine Development

Closes: 20 February 2024

Location: Netherlands

Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Department: Department Biomolecular Health Sciences

Hours Per Week: 36 to 40

About the Role

Utrecht University are seeking a highly motivated and dedicated PhD candidate to contribute to cutting-edge research on the avian coronavirus IBV and vaccine development. You will be a part of a multidisciplinary team focused on understanding immune protection against this viral pathogen in chickens and designing effective vaccines to safeguard poultry health.

Your job

Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) poses a significant threat to the poultry industry, causing substantial economic losses. The current vaccination strategies involve live attenuated virus primos and inactivated boosters, but the evolving serotypes of IBV necessitate constant surveillance and development of new vaccines. This project aims to investigate the virological and immunological parameters crucial for eliciting broad, robust, and long-lasting protective immunity against IBV. To this end, you will utilise advanced techniques in structure-based vaccine design and viral vector platform technologies.

The reponsibilities include:
  • design and conduct the experimental work for this research project;
  • collaborate with a postdoctoral researcher and an industry partner to obtain results;
  • utilise structure-based vaccine design to create antigens for eliciting cross-reactive antibody responses against IBV;
  • work with viral vector platforms to express designed IBV antigens and optimise immune responses;
  • development of new technologies for field serosurveillance of IBV infections and antigenic drift;
  • write high quality publications of research findings in scientific journals.
Desired Qualities

Utrecth University are looking for a colleague who:

  • holds a Master's degree in virology, immunology, or a related field;
  • demonstrates hands-on and proven experience in molecular (cell) biology - experience in molecular virology, structure-based antigen design, and viral vector platforms, or related fields, is a plus;
  • showcases proven English skills in both speaking and writing;
  • communicates clearly and effectively, possessing the ability to work collaboratively in a research team.

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