EDUC8 : 8 Doctoral (PhD) Training Positions in basic and translational immunology

EDUC8 is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme. The EDUC8 training network represents a novel, pioneering platform for studying the immunogenicity of therapeutic pro-coagulant factor VIII (FVIII) in patients with haemophilia A (HA). It includes leading scientists from academia and industry. The EDUC8 training network offers doctoral research projects (PhD projects) for eight early stage researchers (ESRs). The research topics range from fundamental to translational science, and aim at identifying drug- and patient-related risk factors for the development of neutralizing anti-FVIII antibodies, and at developing innovative protocols for inducing tolerance to FVIII. Successful applicants will receive training in basic immunology, haemostasis research and bioinformatic approaches, clinical haemostasis, project management, entrepreneurship, healthcare economics, ethics and marketing. The interaction between biologists, clinical experts, healthcare professionals, industry and patients’ organizations is central to EDUC8. It will expose ESR to complex issues in bench-to-bedside research from different perspectives. Graduates from EDUC8 will be highly skilled, entrepreneurial and broadly-trained experts, equipped with innovative and beyond state-of-the-art proficiency on the exponentially expanding area of “immunogenicity of biotherapeutics”.

Participating in EDUC8 offers early stage researchers many unique opportunities, including:

  • A project as Marie Skłodowska Curie trainee in one of the participating institutions with the intention of receiving a doctoral degree (PhD).
  • State-of-the art, exciting research in an international consortium with highly integrated research projects.
  • Expert training in basic and translational immunology.
  • At least three months of research training in the lab of another consortium member, mostly in a different EU country than the country where most of the project will take place.
  • Training in both academic and commercial research environments.
  • Salary according to EU guidelines for Marie Skłodowska Curie trainees, including mobility payments and family allowances where applicable.


Eligible candidates must:

  • hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in a field of science relevant to their chosen project (see below)
  • demonstrate a history of academic excellence
  • demonstrate an affinity for Basic Immunology and Translational Immunology, Haemostasis or Translational Research
  • speak and write fluently in English
  • have less than 4 years’ previous research experience and not hold a doctoral (PhD) title
  • have not been resident in the country where the host institution is located for more than 12 months in the 3 years before recruitment
  • be available to start their project no later than 1st October-November, 2020


Individual Projects details (find full information on PDF)


ESR1: Induction of neonatal Fc receptor-mediated tolerance to therapeutic factor VIII in HA

Hosting Institution: National Institute of Health and Medical Research (France)

Supervisor Sebastien Lacroix-Desmazes

Email address for the applications sebastien.lacroix-desmazes@crc.jussieu.fr

Subject area: Molecular and experimental Immunology, Immunotherapy

Project-specific selection criteria: Strong knowledge in Immunology, experience in common techniques in Molecular Biology and Cellular Immunology, experience in animal handling is a plus, main competencies include dedication, creativity, team spirit and communication skills


ESR2: Delineation of HLA-DP4-restricted FVIII peptidome

Hosting Institution: Stichting Sanquin Bloedvoorziening-Sanquin (The Netherlands)

Supervisor Prof Jan Voorberg

Email address for the applications j.voorberg@sanquin.nl

Subject area: Molecular and experimental Immunology, antigen presentation, protein immunogenicity, MHC class II peptide presentation

Project-specific selection criteria We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in Molecular and Cellular Immunology, well-developed analytical and technical skills, a creative thinker, a team-player with excellent communication skills. We offer a highly innovative, stimulatory research environment with an excellent research-infrastructure in a highly ambitious team composed of international researchers


ESR3: High-throughput B-cell epitopes profiling

Hosting Institution: University of Milan (Italy)

Supervisor Prof Flora Peyvandi and Roberta Palla

Email address for the applications flora.peyvandi@unimi.it; roberta.palla@unimi.it

Subject area: Bioinformatic applied to immunology

Project-specific selection criteria: • Master degree in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Biostatistics or in a related discipline. • Strong background in statistics and excellent programming skills (R or Python). • Good knowledge of Linux/Unix system. • Experience with the analysis of NGS data (e.g. RNA-seq, WES, WGS) • Preferred experience in using High Performance Computing facilities. • Preferred experience in managing Phage display experiments or proteomics data and in using software for macromolecules visualization (PyMol/Chimera). • Good problem-solving skills, strong attitude to be up-to-date about the most recent discoveries in the field and to develop novel analytical pipeline. • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.


ESR4: Tolerance induction towards FVIII using CAR-transduced Tregs

Hosting Institution: Goethe University (Germany)

Supervisor Prof Christoph Königs and Stephan Schultze Strasser

Email address for the applications Christoph.Koenigs@kgu.de; Stephan.Schultze-Strasser@kgu.de

Subject area: Molecular and experimental Immunology, Immunotherapy

Project-specific selection criteria strong interest and knowledge in immunology, experience in molecular biology and cell culture techniques, basic experiences in animal handling would be beneficial; main competences include a high motivation to learn and the ability to work in a team


ESR5: Intracellular fate of endogenous FVIII variants and association with MHC

Hosting Institution: University Clinic Bonn (Germany)

Supervisors Prof Johannes Oldenburg and Heike Singer

Email address for the applications johannes.oldenburg@ukbonn.de; heike.singer@ukbonn.de

Subject area: Molecular and experimental Haematology, Proteomics

Project-specific selection criteria Knowledge of Proteomics and basic Immunology, experience in stem cell technologies and common molecular techniques, main competencies include creativity, can-do mentality, team spirit and communication skills


ESR6 Induction of tolerance to therapeutic factor VIII in HA by modification with a 2,3 sialic acid

Hosting Institution: DC4U BV (The Netherlands)

Supervisor Prof Yvette van Kooyk and Ineke Rijnhout

Email address for the applications y.vankooyk@amsterdamumc.nl; ineke.rijnhout@dc4u-technologies.nl

Subject area: Molecular cell biology and Immunology, Glycobiology

Project-specific selection criteria A master degree Biomedical Sciences or related, knowledge of immunology, experience with (primary) cellular responses and molecular biology, interest in chemical immunology is a plus, flexible, team player, able to interact with scientists from different backgrounds, departments, and institutions, excellent communication skills in English (both written and verbal)


ESR7 Induction of tolerance to therapeutic FVIII by harnessing the tolerogenic potency of the liver

Hosting Institution: Topas Therapeutics GmbH (Germany)

Supervisors Dr Sabine Fleischer

Email address for the applications fleischer@topas-therapeutics.com

Subject area: Nanotechnology and basic immunology

Project-specific selection criteria: Strong knowledge in nanotechnology and basic immunology. Hands-on experience in bioconjugation techniques, nanoparticle synthesis and characterization. Experience in immunological techniques is a plus. Excellent team spirit, communication and strong organizational skills, flexibility and creativity


ESR8 Monitoring FVIII-specific T cell responses in healthy individuals and in HA patients Hosting Institution: Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et énergies alternatives (France)

Supervisor Prof Bernard Maillère

Email address for the applications bernard.maillere@cea.fr

Subject area: Cellular and molecular immunology, HLA and T cell specificity

Project-specific selection criteria: strong knowledge in cellular and molecular immunology, experience in techniques in cell culture, molecular biology and protein chemistry. Personal commitment, constructive attitude with the supervisor and the team and oral and written communication skills are also requested.

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