PhD on mRNA Vaccines: Canada

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research is looking for a PhD graduate student to take on a project on mRNA vaccines. 

Project Description

Vaccines prevent millions of infections every year. However, the development of new effective vaccines against global killers like AIDS, tuberculosis, and influenza is challenged by the demand for induction of cell-mediated and mucosal immunity to protect the host at mucosal sites of pathogen entrance. A revolutionizing approach is to vaccinate with in vitro transcribed messenger RNA (mRNA) carrying the molecular instructions for in situ synthesis of antigenic protein directly in the host. However, the design criteria for a safe drug delivery system that delivers mRNA to the cytosol and concomitantly induces protective mucosal T cell immunity are elusive. Hence, the purpose of the project is to decode these highly fundamental design criteria. The successful candidate will use pharmaceutical nanotechnology, molecular biology, cell biology, and immunology tools to study modulation of mucosal immune responses by mRNA vaccines in animal models of viral infection. The project envisages new design principles for mRNA delivery systems engineered to elicit robust mucosal T-cell responses that can have a tremendous impact on the global public health.


  • Recent MSc degree in pharmacy, biochemistry, nanotechnology, or relevant biomedical sciences.
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Scientific publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • Language skills
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills

How to Apply

Candidates must submit electronically, one single application document (pdf file) that includes (1) a letter of motivation, (2) a complete curriculum vitae (CV), (3) a copy of graduate transcripts, and (4) contact information for individuals willing to provide references.

Further information about the application is available here 

Review of applications will begin immediately; however, applications will be accepted and evaluated until the position is filled. We thank all applicants for their interest; only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

More information and how to apply
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