Postdoctoral Research Fellow on host-pathogen interactions (UK) ~

18 de marzo de 2020

Postdoctoral Research Fellow on host-pathogen interactions (UK)

Full time Postdoctoral Research Fellow to conduct research on
host-pathogen interactions working with Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale
research fellow Dr Ben Longdon, at the University of Exeter, Penryn

This full time post is available on a two year fixed term
contract, with the possibility of extension. Apply here

About the role

Host-parasite interactions offer fascinating opportunities to study
coevolution, local adaptation and rapid evolutionary change. Our work
uses a unique experimental system of up to 50 species of Drosophila
and naturally occurring RNA viruses to ask fundamental questions about
pathogen host shifts ¡V where a pathogen jumps from one host species to
another. Host shifts are a major source of emerging infectious diseases,
with HIV, Ebola virus and SARS coronavirus having all jumped into humans
from other host species. By taking a comparative approach, with a strong
set of hypotheses from ecological and evolutionary theory, we can provide
insights into the factors underlying host shifts that will be generally
applicable to any group of hosts or viruses.

Understanding pathogen host shifts is critical, especially in light of
environmental change. Our model system has provided key insights into host
shifts, namely the importance of genetic similarity between hosts. Based
on work in Drosophila melanogaster, we know the interactions between host
antiviral immunity and the ability of the virus to supress this immune
response, can play a role in explaining differences in susceptibility. The
initial aim of the postdoc is to examine why viruses can infect some
hosts and not others by looking at how the viral suppressor of immunity
functions in different host species, and how this influences patterns of
susceptibility across the host phylogeny, but there are many opportunities
to develop new projects to explore the ecology and evolution of pathogen
host shifts.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent
qualification/experience in a related field of study.

The successful applicant will be responsible for leading experimental
work, data collection and analysis, working closely with the PI and
collaborators. The post will be based at the University of Exeter in
the internationally excellent Centre for Conservation and Ecology The
centre has a huge number of researchers working in ecology and evolution,
including a large group of researchers working on host-parasite
interactions (including Prof Angus Buckling, Prof Camille Bonneaud,
Prof Edze Westra, Prof Robbie McDonald, Dr Alex Hayward and Dr Stineke
Van Houte) and provides an exciting and stimulating research environment.

Please highlight in your cover letter why you would like to work in our
group (, why you are interested in this project,
and how your skillset/experience is relevant. If you think you might
be a great fit for this position but are unsure on whether you have
relevant experience, please get in touch before applying, happy to
consider applicants from different backgrounds.

Informal enquiries strongly encouraged to Dr Ben Longdon, e-mail

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer. We are
officially recognised as a Disability Confident employer and an Athena
Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on
merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently
underrepresented in the workforce.

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