Research Associate/Fellow in Microbiology: UK
This post is funded by the International Development Research Centre and involves the development of Streptococcus suis recombinant vaccines for control of disease in pigs.
Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is responsible for significant mortality and morbidity in pig production worldwide, affecting economics, food security and animal welfare within commercial and small scale farming. It is also an emerging zoonotic pathogen, responsible for 40% of human bacterial meningitis cases in Vietnam. The OIE has identified S. suis as a priority disease and the development of effective vaccines could significantly reduce the use of antimicrobials in animals and decrease pressure on generation of antimicrobial resistance. There is currently no commercial vaccine available for S. suis and one of the major barriers to commercialisation is the lack of protection induced by experimental vaccines against more than one bacterial serotype.
This position will involve development and screening of S. suis bacterial mutant libraries using our transposon insertion sequencing strategy called PIMMS (Pragmatic Insertional Mutagenesis Mapping System), to identify bacterial genes and proteins required for survival and proliferation during colonisation and disease. This will involve simultaneous sequencing of the insertion position of a disruptive transposon within the bacterial genomes of a library of bacterial mutants before and after exposure to conditions relevant to the disease. In this case, growth or survival in whole blood can be used as a condition to identify bacterial proteins essential for infection in the host, given S. suis produces a bacteraemia in pigs as part of its pathogenesis.
Identified genes and proteins will be investigated as potential vaccine candidates through the comparison of knock-out bacterial mutants and growth inhibition assays, with our collaborators at the National Institute of Veterinary Research in Vietnam. The post will involve a combination of both laboratory based microbiology and molecular biology based analysis, alongside genome bioinformatics analysis. In addition, the successful applicant will also be involved in developing and delivering training and workshop programs within the UK and Vietnam and as such excellent presentation and communication skills are essential.
This is a full time post and is offered on a fixed term contract until 31 October 2021. Job share arrangements may be considered.
Informal inquiries may be addressed to Dr Sharon Egan: email@example.com
Please note that applications sent directly to this email addresses will not be accepted.