We are seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Associate to work in the Section of Molecular Microbiology, which is part of the Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (CMBI) at Imperial College London. The position is funded through a MRC grant. The research project will decipher the impact of phages in the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, and the work will be conducted in the state-of-the-art laboratory of...
Job listing information
- Reference MED02542
- Date posted 28 June 2021
- Closing date 26 July 2021
We are seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Associate to work in the Section of Molecular Microbiology, which is part of the Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (CMBI) at Imperial College London.
The position is funded through a MRC grant. The research project will decipher the impact of phages in the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, and the work will be conducted in the state-of-the-art laboratory of Professor José R Penadés. Bacteriophage-mediated gene transfer is a major evolutionary force occurring by two well-described mechanisms: generalized and specialized transduction.
We have recently discovered that Staphylococcus aureus phages engage in lateral transduction, the most powerful mode of transduction described to date. Lateral transduction converts large regions of the bacterial chromosome into “hypermobile platforms” for the high frequency transfer of any genetic element within their boundaries. Bacterial DNA is transferred at astonishingly high frequencies that are at least 1,000 times greater than any known mechanism of transduction.
Duties and responsibilities
The observed efficiency of chromosomal DNA transfer is unprecedented, representing a paradigm shift in phage biology and in the definition of mobile genetic elements. In this project, analysing important pathogens, we will investigate whether this ground-breaking strategy of gene transfer is widespread in nature.
We anticipate that the results of this study will challenge basic and fundamental concepts of phage biology, which will be revisited here. Moreover, the proposed research has the potential to fundamentally restructure our understanding of the roles of bacteriophages in bacterial evolution, including the development of antimicrobial resistance and virulence in clinical strains.
You will have a PhD or equivalent in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or a related field. You will also have knowledge in the genetic manipulation of bacteria and previous experience working with bacteriophages and/or pathogenicity islands is desirable. You will also have experience within an academic research environment and a proven track record with publication in relevant and peer reviewed high-quality journals.
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Interviews are expected to be held in Mid August 2021
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