A post-doctoral position is available in the Malaria : parasites and hosts (MPH) units of the Institut Pasteur of Paris.
The MPH unit has a long-standing activity in malaria transmission epidemiology, with a focus on mathematical modeling of Plasmodium vivax transmission. Complementary to this approach, the unit is developing basic research projects to try to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in mosquito to human parasite transmission.
Research project : Upon entry into human liver cells, P. vivax sporozoites take two distinct developmental pathways with some directly developing in tissue schizonts that cause blood infections within 10-12 days, while others become ‘dormant’ hypnozoites, that remain developmentally arrested before reactivating weeks or months later to cause relapsing blood-stage infections. While the processes that govern this development switch are unknown, it is likely that the switch is transcriptionally pre-determined in sporozoites. We have started to analyses sporozoite transcriptional, translational and epigenetic pattern to identify potential makers for developmental fate of sporozoite. We have also established single-cell protocols using micro-droplets technologies to isolate sporozoites obtained from lab-strains (P.berghei). We now want to extend these studies in two directions: i) analyse sporozoites from geographical areas with different relapse patterns and ii) conducting single-cell transcriptomic analyses of isolates with different relapse frequencies.
The Post-doctoral Fellow will finalize the validation of the methods developed for single-cell isolation of P.berghei sporozoites. Once established, an in-depth single cell analysis of sporozoites of the relapsing monkey parasite P. cynomolgi will be undertaken in collaboration with the laboratory of Georges Snounou at the CEA. Lastly, working with researchers based in Pasteur Institute International Network based in P. vivax endemic countries (e.g. Cambodia, Madagascar and/or French Guyana), we will perform single-cell isolation of P.vivax sporozoites on field in order to decipher molecular profiles of potential P.vivax parasites subpopulations. Single-cell experiments will be accompanied with phenotypic experiments, e.g liver cell infections, to link molecular profiles with parasite ability to transform into hyponozoite. Finally, the post-doctoral fellow will have to work closely with partners at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia on a project focused on the annotation of P.vivax and P.berghei transcriptome from bulk samples.
In addition to these research tasks, the postdoc will be responsible for supervising the work done by our technicians in our high-throughput molecular and sero-epidemiology laboratory in Paris. This will include to participate in the tasks of automatic DNA/serum extraction from blood samples, high-throughput serologies and qPCR and data analysis.
The position will require a high degree of self-motivation and ability to work independently as well as a willingness to collaborate closely with colleagues at the Walter + Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia and with endemic country scientist (including spend time working in the endemic countries and mentor of PhD and MSc students).
Candidates should possess a PhD in molecular parasitology or systems biology with a solid knowledge of genomic and/or transcriptomic methods. Bioinformatic skills would be also appreciated but not mandatory. Experience in single cell and high-throughput approaches would be beneficial but not a requirement.
This position is available for 2 years starting 1st quarter of 2019.
Enquires may be directed to: Prof. Ivo Mueller, Head Malaria: Parasites and Hosts Unit, Department of Parasites and Insect Vector, Institut Pasteur, Rue de Docteur Roux 28, Paris, France (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Nicolas Merienne (Nicolas.email@example.com)