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Centre for Medical Parasitology, University of Copenhagen TARGETS Team

Post-doctoral position available “Development of immuno-competent blood-brain barrier organoids to study cerebral malaria”

During cerebral malaria, the accumulation of infected red blood cells within the microvasculature leads to localized inflammation, disruption of the blood-brain barrier, and can lead to sudden, rapid swelling of the brain. Previous work by our group showed that infected red blood cells capable of utilizing both ICAM-1 and EPCR can selectively disrupt the blood-brain barrier and can enter endothelial cells. This discovery was facilitated using blood-brain barrier organoids, which mimic the blood-brain barrier. This project aims to further enhance the model by developing immune-competent organoids to investigate the impact Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells have on these immune cells. To this aim, we are seeking and enthusiastic, motivated postdoc to join our team. The project is sponsored by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Our research
The TARGETS group (https://cmp.ku.dk/research/teamtargets/) is based at the Centre for Medical Parasitology (https://cmp.ku.dk) and comprised of two PhD students and a laboratory technician under the supervision of Associate Professor Yvonne Adams.  Our research goal is to understand the impact Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells have upon the blood-brain barrier during cerebral malaria, with a particular focus on the role of ICAM-1. We utilize blood-brain barrier organoids, 3D cell culture, advanced microscopy, microfluidics, flow cytometry and other methods. The group is based on the 11th floor of the Mærsk Tower in state-of-the-art laboratories with access to core facilities for flow cytometry and microscopy.

Your job
As our new postdoc, your job would be to generate a new, immune-competent blood-brain barrier organoid model to investigate the immune responses elicited by ICAM-1 binding Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells and how this impacts blood-brain barrier dysfunction, peripheral immune cell migration, and the immunological responses these interactions generate. Your tasks would include, malaria parasite cell culture, mammalian (human) cell culture, flow cytometry, and confocal microscopy. Supervision of BSc/MSc students where applicable.

We are looking for a highly motivated, independent, and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience:

Essential experience and skills:

  • PhD in immunology, cell biology, infectious disease, or similar
  • Proven experience with mammalian cell culture
  • Experience with microscopy and flow cytometry
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work in teams
  • Excellent English skills written and spoken

Desirable experience and skills:

  • Experience with 3D cell culture/organoids
  • Experience with culturing of malaria parasites 
  • Knowledge of blood-brain barrier and malaria 

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Centre for Medical Parasitology, Mærsk Tower, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and access to state-of-the-art equipment.

For further information please contact Associate Professor Yvonne Adams; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.sund.ku.dk

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: www.ism.ku.dk (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking the link below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.
  4. List of publications.

Deadline for applications: 16 February 2023, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.