09/02/2018

PhD position

This job offer has expired


  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    Universidad de Lleida
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Agricultural sciences
    Biological sciences
    Chemistry
  • RESEARCHER PROFILE
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE
    23/02/2018 12:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • LOCATION
    Spain › Lleida
  • TYPE OF CONTRACT
    Temporary
  • JOB STATUS
    Full-time
  • HOURS PER WEEK
    37,50
  • OFFER STARTING DATE
    01/05/2018
  • EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
    H2020
  • REFERENCE NUMBER
    774078

Microbicides are low-cost formulations of agents that prevent infection with HIV, the cause of AIDS. We generated plants expressing individually HIV neutralizing antibodies (2G12 and 2F5) and the anti-HIV lectins griffithsin (GRFT), cyanovirin (CVN) and scytovirin (SCY) in cereal endosperm. A critical next step in the transition towards humanitarian distribution and/or pre-commercialization is to assess performance, yield, and stability of the plants and the microbicides under field conditions. Developing EMA (European Medicines Agency), EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) regulations now MANDATE field cultivation WITHOUT pesticides or insecticides. We recently generated rice plants co-expressing 2G12, GRFT and CVN. This cocktail was far more potent in neutralizing HIV than any single component or binary combination. The three components demonstrated SYNERGY (the combination was more potent than expected from the additive effect of the three proteins) but only in crude extracts of seeds, not in mixtures of the three pure recombinant proteins in buffer. Extracts from wild-type seeds were inactive against HIV. We established that it is the unique combination of the three proteins in the plant extract which makes them so potent. Our data suggest that combination microbicides as crude extracts without any further purification are far more beneficial than producing pure proteins for reformulation. Even though the triple combination is effective in neutralizing HIV, the potency of CVN was reduced when present in the extract, while contributing to the enhanced synergy in the triple transformants. Thus, although the potency of CVN was reduced in the mixture, it was essential for synergy between the other two components. We will replace CVN with SCY that inhibits HIV without interfering with 2G12 or GRFT. The economic benefits of combination microbicides rely on the simultaneous expression of multiple proteins and this leverages our capabilities for multi-gene engineering. Our OBJECTIVE is to generate new triple combination plants with 2G12, GRFT and SCY and evaluate these in a field trial. Futhermore we will evaluate viability of the production of combination microbicides for topical applications under field conditions through an in depth techno-economic analysis and an Intellectual Property assessment for Freedom to Operate.

Benefits

Position available for 1 year. After evaluation at the end of the first year, the contract can be extended up to 2 years more

Gross salary around 15.000 € / year

Eligibility criteria

Master's Degree or equivalent (300 ECTS credits without Master's Degree title, comprising Bachelor's and Master's studies)

Good academic CV (minimum average qualification 6.5/10)

The average qualification should be computed following the criteria approved by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports as explained in the webpage,

www.mecd.gob.es/mecd/servicios-al-ciudadano-mecd/catalogo/general/educacion/203615.html

Highly motivated candidates with initiative team-working habilites.

Selection process

Two referees shall be mentioned in order to provide information about your profile.

Required Research Experiences

  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Biological sciences
  • YEARS OF RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
    1 - 4

Offer Requirements

  • REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL
    Agricultural sciences: Master Degree or equivalent
    Biological sciences: Bachelor Degree or equivalent
  • REQUIRED LANGUAGES
    ENGLISH: Excellent

Skills/Qualifications

Master's Degree or equivalent (300 ECTS credits without Master's Degree title, comprising Bachelor's and Master's studies)

Good academic CV (minimum average qualification 6.5/10)

The average qualification should be computed following the criteria approved by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports as explained in the webpage,

www.mecd.gob.es/mecd/servicios-al-ciudadano-mecd/catalogo/general/educacion/203615.html

Specific Requirements

Demonstrated knowledge and experience in molecular biology, immunology and genetic transformation. Ability to interact within a multidisciplinary research.Demonstrated knowledge and experience in molecular biology, immunology and genetic transformation. Ability to interact within a multidisciplinary research.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
UNIVERSITAT DE LLEIDA
Spain
Lleida
Lleida
25198
Av Alcalde Rovira Roure 191

Open, Transparent, Merit based Recruitment procedures of Researchers (OTM-R)

Know more about it at Universidad de Lleida

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EURAXESS offer ID: 279085