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Infection Biology PhD Student Position @ Bern University

Infection Biology PhD Student Position @ Bern University

Infection Biology PhD Student Position @ Bern University: The University of Bern offers top quality across the board: it enjoys special recognition in leading-edge disciplines, is reputed for the excellent quality of its teaching, offers a delightful setting, and a campus environment intimately linked to the social, economic and political life of the city. A full range of attractive bachelor, master and doctoral degree courses
The University which dates back to the XVIth century, has a comprehensive offering including 8 faculties, some 160 institutes and 8 Graduate Schools. With 15’900 students, it is of mid-range size among Swiss universities. Unlike the bigger institutions, it retains a human dimension and a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Infection Biology PhD Student Position @ Bern University

The Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern, Switzerland, invites applications for:

PhD Student Position
Starting 1st July 2017, for four years, 100%.
PhD Student Position
Responsibilities

  • A PhD position funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation is available within a Swiss South African Joint Research Programme project on “Virulence of pneumococcal serotypes in human meningitis”.
    Supervision: PD Dr phil. Lucy Hathaway, Contact: lucy.hathaway@ifik.unibe.ch at the Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern, Friedbühlstrasse 51, Bern, CH-3001, Switzerland.
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of bacterial meningitis and in South Africa the mortality rate from pneumococcal meningitis is particularly high.
  • The bacteria are usually surrounded by a capsule of which there are more than 90 different types (serotypes). All current vaccines against S. pneumoniae target the capsule and are specific for a fraction of the serotypes circulating in the human population, giving a selective advantage to those absent from the vaccines. We aim to determine the virulence of different serotypes in human meningitis using specimens from South Africa and experimental techniques in Switzerland.
  • Understanding the relationship between serotype and severity of disease may help inform future vaccine design.
  • Methods to be used during this project will include bacterial and eukaryotic cell culture, in vivo and in vitro models of meningitis and analysis of immune responses.

The project involves a collaboration between several groups at the University of Bern and the group of Prof. Anne von Gottberg of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Reference:
Hathaway, L.J., Grandgirard, D., Valente, L.G., Täuber, M.G., Leib, S.L. Streptococcus pneumoniae capsule determines disease severity in experimental pneumococcal meningitis. Open Biol. 2016 Mar;6(3). pii: 150269. doi: 10.1098/rsob.150269.

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Requirements

  • Applicants should have a masters degree in a relevant subject and have a high motivation to succeed with a strong interest in microbiology.
  • Experience in molecular biology techniques is an advantage.
  • The working language is English.
  • The project is based in Bern but will involve multiple stays in South Africa.
  • The successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the University of Bern (GCB).

How To Apply:

Applications (ideally as a single pdf file) should be sent to lucy.hathaway@ifik.unibe.ch and include:

  • CV
  • Copies of grades, diplomas and letters of reference
  • A letter describing your motivation to work on this project.

Institute for Infectious Diseases, Mrs Lucy Hathaway, 3001 Bern

Telefon: +41 31 632 3251, lucy.hathaway@ifik.unibe.ch, www.ifik.unibe.ch/

 

Infection Biology PhD Student Position @ Bern University

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