Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
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Early Stage Researcher PhD fellowship in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN European Training Network PANDORA on “Human macrophages as sentinels for discriminating normal innate response from anomalous reactivity to engineered nanoparticles”

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    Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
    Biological sciencesBiology
    Biological sciencesOther
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    25/03/2017 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Italy › Napoli
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


The PANDORA network – Probing safety of nano-objects by defining immune responses of environmental organisms – aims at the education of promising young scientists who will learn shall assess the global impact of engineered nanoparticles (NP) on the immune responses of representative organisms covering all evolutionary stages and hierarchical levels from plants to invertebrates and vertebrates. PANDORA will train 11 PhD students in an overarching training programme involving training-by-research, joint courses of technical, scientific and transferrable skills, participation to public scientific events, and an intense intersectoral networking exchange plan. The PANDORA consortium encompasses academic institutions, research centers, and SMEs, all with proven experience in higher education and training, and state-of-the art scientific and technical expertise and infrastructures

The research activities implemented in PANDORA have the following objectives: 1. To identify immunological mechanisms triggered by nano-objects, and predictive markers of risk vs. safety; 2. To do so by a collaborative cross-species comparison, from plants to human, of innate immune defence capacity, using selected, industrially-relevant NP; 3. To design predictive in vitro assays to measure the immuno-risk of NP to the environment and human health, as new approaches to industrial and environmental nanosafety testing.
Each of the 11 ESRs will be enrolled in the PhD programme of the beneficiary’s organization (the beneficiaries which do not award PhD will establish agreements with local and international universities that can provide the degree) and will participate in the network’s training activities and work placements at the laboratories of the participating academic and industrial partners. In addition, the training programme of the recruited ESRs will be implemented with regular meetings and workshops within the PANDORA network.
The scientific project is based on human primary monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages, which will be taken as model of vertebrate innate/inflammatory reaction upon exposure to nanoparticles. Macrophages are phagocytic and scavenging cells whose activity is conserved across species. Human tissue-like macrophages and blood monocytes will be used in in vitro models of resolving and chronic inflammation for representing the local tissue sentinels and the blood-derived inflammatory phagocytes, respectively. Cells will be challenged with foreign objects of different size, shape and stiffness (nanoparticles vs. bacteria or other materials) in order to understand the mechanisms underlying recognition vs. ignorance, activation vs. tolerance, selective activation pattern, and innate memory induction. Cells and supernatants will be sampled at several time points, to profiling gene expression (RNAseq and real-time PCR), rate of cytokine production (multiplex and single ELISA), lipid metabolism (mass spectrometry) and intracellular organelle trafficking (confocal, correlative microscopy, HC image acquisition). Expected results are: 1. understanding the mechanisms by which monocytes and macrophages recognise and react to foreign objects; 2. examining the possible interference of nanoparticles with the defensive functions of monocytes and macrophages; 3. assessing the capacity of nanoparticles to induce "innate memory" either in the direction of tolerance or in that of enhanced reactivity.

More Information


The ESR will be contractually employed for 31 months by the Institute of Protein Biochemistry of the “Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche” and will be covered under the social security scheme. He or she will monthly receive a Living Allowance, a Mobility Allowance and a Family Allowance compliant with the applicable EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions-ITN general conditions (see http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2014_2015/ma... page 49).

Eligibility criteria

Mobility eligibility requirements: the fellow must not have resided in the country where the research training activities will take place for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country).

Experience eligibility requirement: Eligible applicants must have less than 4 years research experience (Early Stage Researcher) at the signature of the contract (measured from the time the Master's degree has been obtained).

Eligible applicants must not have a PhD yet.

Selection process

Applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:

 - CV;

- educational record;

- scientific quality;

- expected individual impact and benefit of the training to the fellow and to the project;

The candidates will be evaluated on the basis of received documents and the best 3-5 candidates will be invited for a face to face interview that will be held at IBP-CNR (Naples, Italy) in April 2017.

After the conclusion of the interviews, a shortlist will be prepared and notified to the applicants.

PANDORA supports equal opportunity and encourages female researchers to apply for positions.

Additional comments

Gender: Applications from qualified female researchers are strongly encouraged.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Biological sciences: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Good


A suitable background for the open position includes a good knowledge of immunology, expertise in mammalian cell culture, in particular primary cells, and the ability of isolating and characterising white blood cells.

Specific Requirements


Application Procedure.

The applicant must send the following documents to: info@pandora-h2020.eu within March 25th, 2017:

1) an updated CV; the CV must be without gaps, in order to easily check the mobility and experience requirements. CVs that either do not clearly show the applicant’s past experience, or have gaps, will be considered ineligible;

2) a letter giving reason for his/her motivation for the post;

3) at least 1 reference letters (in English) from one former supervisor and/or lecturer;

4) the scan of the degree (usually the Master Degree), which would formally entitle him/her to embark on a doctorate in Austria (where the fellow will be enrolled, at the University of Salzburg). In case the degree has not been obtained yet, it is necessary to send a declaration of the university stating that the degree will be obtained before the expected starting date.

Applications must be in English and will be evaluated against the following criteria:

- Educational record;

- scientific quality of the applicant’s CV;

- expected individual impact and benefit to the fellow and to the project.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Via Pietro Castellino 111

EURAXESS offer ID: 84895
EURAXESS old offer ID: 34065536


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