Joint Industry-Academia Postdoctoral Position on: Understanding the inter-individual difference in disease response in livestock and prophylactic or therapeutic interventions thereon

     
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WorkplaceLeuven, Flemish Region, Belgium
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Joint Industry-Academia Postdoctoral Position on: Understanding the inter-individual difference in disease response in livestock and prophylactic or therapeutic interventions thereon.

inter-individual difference in the duck’s immune system: a systems immunology approach

The duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) is a member of the Hepadnaviridae. DHBV infections occurs primarily in hepatocytes in the duck’s liver with release of infectious virions and noninfectious subviral particles in the blood. Although DHBV replication is non-cytopathic the damage observed in the liver during transient and persistent infection is likely to be attributed to the immune responses directed against viral antigens. Additionally, this immune response is required to clear DHBV from infected hepatocytes. Hence, a detailed systems immunology analysis of the host responses that occur in the course of transient and persistent infection may generate insights that might translate in therapeutic or prophylactic options such as vaccines, immunomodulators or drugs and broaden our knowledge of the duck’s immune system.
The candidate will implement the duck hepatitis B virus  infection model as described by Cova and Zoulim in Methods in Molecular Medicine, vol 96 Hepatitis B and D Protocols page 261-268 at the KU Leuven, TRANSFarm. After initial set-up of the duck model and the required analytical assays, e.g. qPCR, ELISA, immunostaining, the candidate will validate the model using a Hepatitis B virus inhibitor, i.e. Entecavir, currently in clinical practice. Next, the candidate will establish tools for a systems immunology analysis of the duck’s immune system in relation to infection duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV). As such the candidate will study the differential outcome as for example viral genome copies or differential expression levels of preS in hepatocytes that was observed to differ between individual animals. Finally, this model will be used to study the inter-individual difference in disease response between ducks upon duck hepatitis B virus infection and the effect of therapeutic interventions thereon.

The Laboratory of Host Pathogen Interactions in livestock is part of the division of animal and human health engineering, department of biosystems at the KU Leuven. The Laboratory of Host Pathogen Interactions in livestock aims to investigate interactions that occur during infections of farm animals. The insights gained are translated in therapeutic or prophylactic options such as vaccines, immunomodulators or drugs. We have an open full-time postdoctoral position.

The Laboratory of Host Pathogen Interactions in livestock is part of the division of animal and human health engineering, department of biosystems at the KU Leuven. The Laboratory of Host Pathogen Interactions in livestock aims to investigate interactions that occur during infections of farm animals. The insights gained are translated in therapeutic or prophylactic options such as vaccines, immunomodulators or drugs. We have an open full-time postdoctoral position.

Highly motivated, communicative researcher having obtained a PhD degree in Bioscience Engineering, Veterinary Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Biosciences or equivalent. You have expertise in immunology and/or molecular biology. Knowledge in vaccine development and/or drugs discovery is a plus. You have a FELASA C or equivalent certificate and have some experience with experimental animals especially farm animals. You have a talent for project management and are willing to write or contribute to new project applications. In addition you should have an interested to participate in the supervision of some of the lab’s PhD candidates and the day to day management of the research group.

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR [at] kuleuven[.]be.

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and reference  JobID 1724.