Research Fellow / Post-doctoral Researcher

Closing date: 27 November 2023

UE07: £37,099 - £44,263 (depending on experience)

College Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies, The Roslin Institute

Fixed-term, full-time (35 hours per week)

2 year contract

We are looking for a post-doctoral research fellow to join the Roslin Institute, Avian Immunology Group, working as part of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH). You will be a motivated, enthusiastic, and creative researcher interested in working in the area of gut health, the interaction between immunity- infection-nutrition, and the development of a phenotypic screening platform using intestinal organoids.

The Opportunity:

This is a 2 year, full-time postdoctoral position to work on a collaborative project between the groups of Professor Lonneke Vervelde (Roslin Institute), and Professors Jos Houdijk and Nick Sparks (SRUC). This represents a unique opportunity to be part of multi-disciplinary team investigating the interaction between immunity - nutrition and the effect on resilience to pathogen challenge using chickens that differ in susceptibility to bacterial infections. In this project we will develop and validate an in vitro phenotyping platform using intestinal organoids derived from defined inbred and commercial chicken lines. These organoids with different genetic background will be tested for resilience to pathogen challenges in vitro. The effects of nutrient scarcity on epithelial barrier integrity, innate immunity and resilience will be assessed using high throughput RT-qPCR arrays, bio-imaging and microbiological assays.

CTLGH aims to develop and apply tools to improve the productivity of tropical livestock and increase climatic resilience. It has been consistently observed that indigenous poultry breeds in Africa tend to be more resilient to disease compared to Western commercial breeds. Ultimately the phenotyping platform will be transferred to collaborators in Africa to test indigenous breeds for resilience and gut health to support local breeding programs.

The post-holder will possess a PhD in a relevant animal or biomedical science and a proven record of innovative and high-quality research. Experience of work with in vitro cell cultures is essential and experience with infection models is desirable. Knowledge of mucosal/avian immunology, physiology and metabolism would be highly advantageous. You will be expected to work with a high degree of independence in day-to-day work, and encouraged to contribute their own ideas to the project. Funding is available to support career development and conference attendance as well as knowledge exchange with collaborators in Sub-Saharan Africa and ILRI.

The ideal candidate will have a proven ability to design, execute and interpret experiments, and possess excellent skills in the oral and written communication of results. The candidate will be highly motivated and work effectively independently and as part of a team.

Your skills and attributes for success:

Technical skills

  • PhD in biomedical/veterinary/animal/biological science in relevant discipline (immunology, molecular and cellular biology)
  • Experience with in vitro cell culture or organoid models
  • Experience with mucosal immunology and infection models is highly beneficial

Personal attributes

  • Team player with the ability to work with others in a collegiate and collaborative environment and with the motivation and ambition to make a personal contribution to research
  • Ability to effectively prioritise, multi-task and work independently, with excellent communication skills to allow efficient interactions with collaborators in CTLGH