Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you wish to do research relevant to global health? Do you have an established background in molecular virology? Do you want to further your career in one of the UKs leading research intensive Universities?
Virus-like particles (VLPs) offer a low cost solution to vaccine development and are already in clinical use (e.g. against human papillomavirus and hepatitis B virus). They also avoid containment restrictions associated with the culture of infectious virus as are required for most conventional vaccine manufacture. We have developed a VLP-based vaccine candidate for polio. Polio was the primary cause of disability worldwide pre-1950s and although vaccination has been responsible for the dramatic reduction in cases, the vaccines carry the risk of re-introduction of disease. A safe vaccination strategy for the future is therefore needed. As a result of funding from WHO, and in collaboration with a number of Universities and institutes, we have generated VLPs, which are stabilised by mutation to retain the non-expanded (native) conformation essential to induce protective immunity. These are produced in the yeast Pichia pastors by co-expression of the P1 precursor protein and the viral protease. The stabilised VLPs retain native antigenicity at enhanced temperature, which should remove the need for a cold chain. Importantly, the VLPs perform similarly or better than the current polio vaccines in immunogenicity trials and we are currently also working on exploring novel delivery approaches (oral delivery and microneedles).
The successful candidates will work alongside other members of the team to purify and characterise VLPs.
For these roles, you should have a PhD (or close to completion) in molecular virology or a closely allied discipline. You should also have expertise in ELISA and in protein characterisation by Western blotting, as well as experience of transformation and purification of protein complexes.
To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:
Nicola Stonehouse, Professor in Molecular Virology
Email: [email protected]Location: Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service: Faculty of Biological Sciences School/Institute: School of Molecular & Cellular Biology Category: Research Grade: Grade 7 Salary: £37,099 to £44,263 p.a. Working Time: 100% Post Type: Full Time Contract Type: Fixed Term (Until December 2024 due to external funding) Release Date: Friday 10 November 2023 Closing Date: Thursday 23 November 2023 Reference: FBSMB1270 Downloads: Candidate Brief