Job summary

Toxoplasma gondii is a highly successful human parasite, infecting more than 2.5 billion people worldwide. Broad programs of amino acid targeted post-translational modifications define signalling networks that regulate fundamental biological processes such as the invasion of host cells by this protozoan parasite. Due to technical limitations, the functional contribution of most of these post-translational chemical modifications to parasite biology is not known.

The Child Lab (www.laboratorychild,com) has established a systems-level proteome engineering platform to test the functional contribution of hundreds of individual post-translationally modified amino acids in parallel, in high-throughput (https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.04.429737). This is accomplished via multi-locus saturation mutagenesis using a CRISPR-based oligo recombineering approach. We use our technology to understand the post-translational regulation landscape of the T. gondii host-pathogen interaction.

This project will dissect the functional contribution of entire programs of post-translational modifications to the process of apical organelle secretion in T. gondii. Systems-level proteome engineering and omic-scale analyses will be combined with focused molecular and biochemical validation of sites of proven function. This will enable the first holistic analysis of how chemically identical PTMs can be organized across biochemically diverse protein targets to coordinate complex fundamental biological processes in time and space.

This will provide a unique opportunity to pioneer a new approach for the study of PTM signalling networks where defined PTM programs are systematically interrogated to functionally distinguish signal from noise.

Duties and responsibilities

You will carry out cutting edge research on the post-translational regulation of Toxoplasma gondii biology, with a strong emphasis on apical organelle secretion and the application of our CRISPR-based Oligo Recombineering platform.

Essential requirements

  • Hold a PhD (or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience) in Microbiology or a closely related discipline
  • A strong background in host-pathogen interaction biology
  • Apicomplexan biology (ideally Toxoplasma gondii)
  • Post-translational regulation of protein function
  • Molecular mechanisms of organelle secretion (ideally apicomplexan apical organelles)
  • Expertise in genome modification techniques such as conditional systems and CRISPR/Cas9
  • Ambitious, enthusiastic and academically motivated
  • Independent, creative and proactive approach towards problem solving
  • Ability to develop and apply new concepts
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to advance a complex and multidisciplinary project
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team, and to be open-minded and cooperative

Further information

This is a full time, fixed term position available until 28 February 2025.

*Please note that any candidate who has not been yet awarded their PhD, will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £36,694 – £39,888 per annum.

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Dr. Matthew Child, and visit the laboratory website for more information: www.laboratorychild.com

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research/

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