Updated: Sep 14
This is a postdoc position working as part of a unique exciting collaboration bridging the McElvaney Laboratory at Beaumont Hospital (www.rcsi.com/people/profile/gmcelvaney) and the Curtis Clock Laboratory (www.curtisclocklab.com) at St Stephens Green.
This position will provide an unparalleled opportunity to conduct cutting edge fundamental immunobiology research as it relates to respiratory disease.
Prof. McElvaney is a world leader in the field of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, which is characterised by mutations in the SERPINA1 gene. Ireland has one of the highest prevalence of mutations in this gene. AAT deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk in the development of pulmonary emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for individuals in their 30s and 40s even in never smokers. Through the Alpha-1 Foundation in Ireland, its detection programme and registry, Prof. McElvaney cares for and thus has access to both patients and their families across Ireland. This provides an unparalleled opportunity to access valuable clinical samples in order to understand this disease and uncover new targets for treatments.
Most studies to date on AAT deficiency have focused on neutrophils, as AAT can inhibit destructive proteases released from neutrophils in the lungs. Monocytes and macrophages can also produce AAT and are likely conditioned by circulating levels of AAT. However, the impact of AAT deficiency in terms of monocyte and macrophage function in the lung has largely been ignored. This is unfortunate as it is clear that dysregulated macrophages in the lung are driving the pathology of COPD. Therefore, this project will comprehensively investigate the impact of AAT deficiency on monocytes and macrophage inflammatory pathways in humans.
This post will synergise the expertise of Prof. McElvaney and Dr. Curtis. Dr. Curtis is an expert in macrophage inflammation in particular the role which cellular metabolism also known as “immunometabolism” plays in driving inflammatory output. In addition to fully understanding the inflammatory signalling pathways which are dysregulated in this condition we will also investigate whether new immune-metabolic compounds might provide benefit. The successful candidate will have access to cutting-edge technologies such as an Agilent Seahorse Analyser, multiparametric flow cytometry and a number of “omics” approaches. The role is appointable on a full time basis.
There may be times when collection of clinical samples may occur outside normal working hours, but the candidate will be provided with significant flexibility regarding weekly work schedules and part time options may also be considered. The will be significant opportunity for the candidate to independently direct this project as results unfold.
Both laboratories strongly promote a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, diversity and equality, to ensure that all staff can reach their full potential.
Both groups have a significant record of publishing high impact papers and the candidate will be fully supported to apply for independent funding, should they wish to do so.
Status: Accepting applications.
Deadline: 30th September, 2021.
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