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Postdoc position in Vaccinology

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DepartmentDepartment Medical Microbiology & Infection Prevention and Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy
Work locationGroningen
Apply no later than17 October 2021

Working environment

This position will be in context of a collaboration between the Vaccinology Group of the Department of Medical Microbiology & Infection Prevention, and the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy. The Department of Medical Microbiology & Infection prevention is responsible for patient specific laboratory diagnostics, teaching and research in the area of infection prevention & control, virology, bacteriology, mycology and parasitology. The Vaccinology Group is focusing on the development of human cell-derived in vitro systems suitable for the evaluation of vaccine mechanisms, screening of new candidate vaccines, and vaccine batch quality control. The Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy strives to find new and innovative drugs and therapies and wishes to improve the use of existing drugs and it amalgamates advanced research and education to deliver professional pharmacists and pharmaceutical researchers to society. Within this institute the Department of Molecular Pharmacology focuses on correcting aberrant molecular pathways underlying chronic and age-related diseases with a special emphasis on respiratory diseases.

Job description

Vaccine development so far largely relies on animal models for the evaluation of vaccine properties and the exploration of new vaccine candidates. However, the immune system of animal models poorly mimics the human immune system with regular failure of seemingly promising vaccine candidates in clinical trials. Moreover, the use of experimental animals for vaccine development and control is ethically questionable, particularly if their predictive value is limited. This project which is in context of a consortium funded by the European Union and the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) aims at developing human respiratory model systems which are suitable to speed up and improve the development and control of vaccines for respiratory virus infections. The successful candidate will have to develop (influenza) virus infection models using human lung organoids and use these models to explore the safety and effectiveness of vaccine-induced immune responses, in particular protection from infection and infection-related inflammatory responses.

What do we need

We are looking for an enthusiastic and creative candidate with a PhD in immunology, virology, or (lung) organoid research and a strong interest in vaccinology. Being familiar with advanced cell culture techniques and experience in working with human pathogenic viruses will be regarded as an asset. You will work with material derived from patients with respiratory diseases from our hospital and you will get experience in organoid culture, virus infection, and the assessment of infection-induced changes in morphology and physiology by advanced microscopical techniques, gene expression profiling and other multiparametric techniques. The Department of Molecular Pharmacology has ample experience in generating and characterizing lung organoids and has all the contacts in the hospital to obtain the required patient material. The Vaccinology Group provides extensive knowledge on influenza virus and influenza virus-specific immune responses and has all required immunological assays up and running.

Specific requirements:

  • A PhD in immunology, virology or in vitro tissue modeling (e.g. organoid research).
  • Strong affinity with vaccinology and the desire to contribute creatively to this field.
  • Experience with primary cell cultures and functional immunological assays.
  • Experience with multiplex assays, (functional) antibody assays, and/or multiplex flow cytometry is desirable.
  • Experience with novel data analysis approaches/bioinformatics is an advantage.
  • Excellent skills in English (oral and writing).
  • Team player with affinity to work in a big international consortium.
  • Creative and pro-active in generating and solving scientific questions.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.

In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is required.

What do we offer

A dynamic position in an enthusiastic team with dedicated researchers for the duration of initially two years years with the possibility of extension, depending on performance and available funding, for an additional 3 years.

The position is for 0.8 full time equivalents. Your salary will be a maximum of € 4.615,- gross per month (scale 10), depending on your qualifications and relevant experience. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The terms of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centers (CAO-UMC).

How to apply
Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until October 17, 2021.

Full applications including a motivation letter, curriculum vitae, and two contacts for professional reference letters will receive full consideration.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

More information

For more information about this vacancy you may contact:

  • Prof. Dr. Anke Huckriede, telephone 06 3832 0820, e-mail address Contact
  • Prof. Dr. Barbro Melgert, telephone 050 363 2947, e-mail address Contact