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Postdoc in Edinburgh: malaria infection & circadian rhythms

January 12, 2018 - 12:00 -- MalariaWorld Jobs


Organisation: University of Edinburgh, UK
Closing Date: Friday 02 February 2018 at 5pm (GMT)




The Reece lab in the Institutes of Evolution, Immunology and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh, are recruiting a postdoc.

Topic: Parasite offence or host defence? The ecology and evolution of biological rhythms in malaria infection

Details and application info at:

Biological rhythms allow activities to be coordinated with the consequences of the Earth’s daily and seasonal rotation. The mechanisms underpinning the clocks that drive daily rhythms are well understood. In contrast, the costs and benefits provided by daily rhythms – including how rhythms shape interactions between organisms – are poorly understood. One of the most fundamental interactions between organisms is that between hosts and parasites. Why parasites - that exclusively live within the bodies of other organisms - exhibit biological rhythms and how they are regulated are longstanding questions. Examining the roles of rhythms in disease is a new arena for studying host-parasite-vector coevolution. Also, integrating disease control interventions into an evolutionary chronobiology framework offers innovative approaches to improving health. This includes the development of drugs to disrupt parasite rhythms, harnessing circadian systems to enhance immune responses, or precisely timing drug administration to make treatment more effective.

We are offering a postdoctoral position as part of a Wellcome Trust funded project to investigate the role of circadian rhythms in malaria infection. The project will integrate a novel mix of disciplines (evolutionary ecology, chronobiology, and parasitology) to determine why and how timing matters for interactions between parasites, hosts and vectors, the severity and transmission of disease, and fitness of all parties. This is a very broad topic and so the successful candidate will be encouraged to develop their own niche. Growing evidence that the daily rhythms of malaria parasites can confer tolerance to antimalarial drugs, and that the use of bed nets is changing the biting time of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria makes understanding how and why parasites exhibit daily rhythms increasingly urgent.

This interdisciplinary Wellcome Trust funded project will break new ground by elucidating the evolutionary ecology of biological rhythms for parasites. It will integrate a novel mix of disciplines (evolutionary ecology, chronobiology, and parasitology) and open up novel avenues for disease control. The post holder will plan, conduct and write up research that they have led and support the research of others in the lab. The project will focus on a rodent malaria, murine host, and mosquito vector model system.

This post is full time and fixed term for 3 years.

Salary: £32,548 - £38,833 per annum

Closing Date: Friday 02 February 2018 at 5pm (GMT)