PhD Graduate Student - Cattle mRNA Vaccines

Closes: 31 May 2024

Location: 120 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, S7N 5E3

About VIDO

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research, is a world leader in infectious disease research and vaccine development for humans and animals. Located at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, VIDO is home to one of the largest and most advanced containment level 3 facilities in the world. To strengthen the preparedness for emerging infectious diseases we are currently expanding our infrastructure to include containment level 4 capacity, a GMP vaccine manufacturing facility, and a new animal housing facility. Our vision includes having the capacity to study any emerging disease in any animal model embracing a One Health approach to prevent emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in humans and animals.

About the Position

Dr. Aneesh Thakur, Principal Investigator, Laboratory of Vaccine Engineering and Immunology (LVEI) is seeking a highly motivated PhD student to work on a project focused on developing RNA vaccines in cattle.

Infectious diseases of cattle remain a considerable challenge that impacts animal health and food security. Veterinary vaccines with the capacity for rapid development during disease outbreaks and potential for low-cost manufacture and distribution are highly desired. Messenger RNA (mRNA) formulated with lipid nanoparticles offer a new and exciting platform for such vaccines. However, the major bottlenecks to the application of mRNA vaccines in farm animals is their limited storage/shelf stability and the requirements for multiple boosters, which increases the overall cost of the final vaccine product. The purpose of this project is to address these challenges and develop novel mRNA vaccines for cattle immunization. The project will combine approaches in drug delivery, immunology, microbiology, and bovine infection models to achieve the objectives.

  • MSc degree in veterinary medicine, pharmacy, microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, or relevant biomedical sciences (received in the past 3 years).
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills.
Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project

  • Relevant work experience

  • Scientific publications
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least 80%
  • Participation in professional activities such as conferences, workshops etc.
  • Communication skills
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills
Formal requirements

The position is available for a 4-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree.

The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD graduate student at the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan according to the rules stipulated in the guidelines for the Graduate Program at the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate program in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology.

Financial Support:

The candidate will be provided a stipend and will also be expected to apply for internal and external scholarships.

How to Apply

Candidates must submit one single application document (pdf file) that includes (1) a letter of motivation, (2) a complete curriculum vitae (CV), (3) a copy of graduate transcripts, and (4) contact information for individuals willing to provide references.

Review of applications will begin immediately; however, applications will be accepted and evaluated until May 31, 2024.

More Information & Apply Here