Postdoctoral Scientist (PRRS Immunology)

Closing date: 10 July 2020
The Pirbright Institute, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom. £32,361 to £35,104, depending on experience and qualifications.

Vacancy details

This Postdoctoral Scientist position is a key role within the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Pirbright Livestock Antibody Hub. This Hub will exploit the recent advances in our understanding of B-cell responses to better understand the protective immune response in livestock and poultry. We will address the needs of the research community and bridge the requirements of the vaccine industry. Overall the hub will support rational vaccinology approaches, antibody-based treatment and prophylaxis as well as increasing the applicability of animals as models for human disease and treatment.

As part of this Hub, we will continue to develop specific work programs to enable antibody discovery, manipulation and testing in cattle, pigs and poultry. This will require the establishment of species and pathogen specific methods to interrogate antibody responses in parallel with in vivo studies in the natural host. We aim to share expertise and actively collaborate with other research centres and vaccine companies worldwide to act as a central hub for antigen-specific antibody discovery and characterisation.

An important objective of the Hub is to improve our understanding of antibody Fc and Fc-receptor functions in these livestock species. To complement studies focused on defining antibody isotype/subclass binding to Fc-receptors, this role will be to develop assay systems to define the Fc-mediated functions of each of the IgG subclasses, IgA and IgM. This will involve establishing for each of the three species standardised in vitro assays to measure antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody directed cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) and antibody mediated complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). These assays in combination with more standard assays such as neutralising assays, liquid phase blocking ELISA and ELISpot, will comprise a powerful suite of analytical tools to accurately predict and measure the function of antibodies in a range of host species.

The Postdoctoral Scientist will work as part of a large multidisciplinary team to advance the aims of the Pirbright Livestock Antibody Hub. The postholder will utilise a range of immunological techniques including the use of flow cytometry and other cellular approaches to help development a suite of assays to examine the Fc-mediated function of individual antibody (sub)classes for the target species. The post-holder will report to the PRRS Immunology Group Leader and will interact other members of the Pirbright Livestock Antibody Hub on a regular basis.

For full details, please visit The Pirbright Institute's jobs website.