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Research Assistant Position Translational & Respiratory Immunology Lab - Trinity College Dublin

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

This is an opportunity for a graduate level scientist to pursue cutting edge research in a multidisciplinary research environment. The successful candidate will work on a Health Research Board funded project investigating how the microbiome composition impacts upon the immune response in the lungs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients.

COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide and affects over half a million people in Ireland. This respiratory condition causes difficulty breathing and irreversible damage to the lungs. COPD is an extremely debilitating condition for which there is only palliative treatment. Some patients experience flare-ups (exacerbations) which often causes hospitalisation and worsening of their condition, while others have a more stable pattern of disease. The reasons for these exacerbations are poorly understood.

Over the past decade a wealth of evidence has pointed at the human microbiota, a complex community of commensal microorganisms that colonise the mucosae and the skin, as a critical factor modulating human health and disease. The microbiome as emerged as an important factor influencing the response in the lungs during respiratory infections, asthma, allergy and is now emerging as a new element contributing to COPD. Here we will investigate how changes in the microbiome affect COPD progression and if shifts in the microbiome known as dysbiosis can contribute to COPD flare-ups. We will investigate how microbial-derived metabolites can help ease symptoms of COPD and restore the balance in the lungs.

The successful candidate will join the Translational Respiratory Immunology Lab (TRIL) led by Res. Asst. Professor Natalia Muñoz-Wolf at the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and the Department of Clinical Medicine at Tallaght university Hospital

Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Post:

The successful candidate will work closely with the research and clinical teams and will manage:

  • Processing and storage of clinical samples including blood, stool and bronchoalveolar lavage;

  • Purification of DNA for microbiome analysis;

  • Isolation of monocytes from patients’ blood samples;

  • Sample shipment to our collaborators.

Other tasks may include immunophenotyping, tissue culture, qPCR and ELISA. As part of the daily tasks the candidate is expected to update reagents and materials stocks and place the orders whenever necessary and assist in preparation of ethical approvals and other documents.

Candidates must have high ethical standards. Experience with clinical samples, knowledge of tissue culture techniques and DNA isolation will be highly regarded. The successful candidate will work in our laboratories at Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute and Tallaght University Hospital and may be involved in our collaboration with St James’s Hospital.

To apply:

Applicants should submit a cover latter and a 2 page Curriculum Vitae to include the names and contact details of 2 referees (including email addresses), to: Dr Natalia Muñoz-Wolf

Further Information for Applicants:


12 noon (Ireland) July 31st, 2023

More details on the role can be found in the document below:

Reaearch Assistant 2023
Download PDF • 304KB


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