Postdoctoral Fellows – Monoclonal Antibodies Against Infectious Pathogens

Job Announcement Description

The Antibody Biology Unit at the Laboratory of Immunogenetics, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is seeking highly motivated postdoctoral researchers to lead projects on the characterization of human monoclonal antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The goal of the Antibody Biology Unit is to use cutting-edge techniques to decipher the antibody response to major pathogens, both to further our knowledge of basic B-cell biology and to make translational advances that impact global health. Ongoing work includes a study on bispecific antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.01.437942v1) and a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to identify potent monoclonal antibodies against pre-erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum.

Two projects are offered:

  1. Investigation of human monoclonal antibodies against blood-stage P. falciparum. This stage of the P. falciparum life cycle offers a wealth of potential antigenic targets, few of which have been studied in depth. This project aims to isolate potent antibodies against leading antigen candidates and identify new targets on the surface of blood-stage parasites. If a suitable antibody is identified, it can be tested for the ability to prevent malaria in a clinical trial in a malaria-endemic region through intramural collaborations.
  2. Investigation of the human antibody response to M. tuberculosis. While the role of T cells in immunity against M. tuberculosis has been well-established, evidence is building that antibodies also play a protective role in TB. However, the most relevant targets and mechanisms of antibody-mediated immunity remain elusive. This project aims to identify new potent antibodies and antigenic targets on the M. tuberculosis surface. 

Candidates will have access to unique patient samples, high-throughput devices for screening single B cells, and an array of tools and assays to characterize human antibodies, including the Berkeley Lights Beacon (optofluidics), Intellicyt iQue Screener (high-throughput flow cytometer) and Carterra LSA (high-throughput SPR). These positions are ideal for candidates who are interested in a project with both basic and translational features that aims to discover new targets of protective antibodies.

Requirements:                                                     

  1. A recent Ph.D. (<3 years or current Ph.D. students finishing in 2021)
  2. A solid background in immunology
  3. Ability to work in a team
  4. Excellent organizational, written, and communication skills
  5. First-author publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals
  6. Research experience
    1. Blood stage P. falciparum culture (for the malaria project)
    2. Mycobacterium tuberculosis research experience, including in biosafety level (BSL) 3 (for the TB project)
    3. Cell culture, PCR, ELISA, Western blot, flow cytometry
    4. Preferred–experience with computational analysis of antibody sequences including VH/VL gene usage and lineage

To apply, please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae (CV), and the contact information for three references to Dr. Joshua Tan at tanj4@nih.gov.

HHS, NIH, and NIAID are equal opportunity employers dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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