Postdoctoral research fellow in immunology/bacteriology

    We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral research to join the Pletzer laboratory ( at the University of Otago.

    Research group: The Pletzer laboratory is located in the Microbiology & Immunology Department at the University of Otago in beautiful Dunedin (New Zealand), a culturally vibrant and diverse university city. The group has a focus on reducing antimicrobial resistance and combating infectious diseases using a variety of computational tools as well as in vitro and in vivo model system.

    Project: An exciting opportunity has arisen for an enthusiastic full-time Postdoctoral Fellow working on a project investigating the molecular mechanism underlying pathogen-pathogen interaction during skin infections. You will join a project studying the role of bacterial regulatory genes and pathways required by the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus to colonize and coexist during infection. You will determine the molecular mechanisms that alter virulence of each pathogen at the site of infection and subsequently characterize disease progression. The project will employ advanced genetic and molecular biology tools as well as in vivo imaging technologies and advanced immunology including flow cytometry. This project is funded by the Marsden Fund (Royal Society of New Zealand) and available for two years. We are looking for candidates interested in an interdisciplinary field crossing microbiology, immunology and bioinformatics.

    Skills and experience:
    The successful candidate will have a passion for and considerable hands-on experience in microbiology, immunology and bioinformatics. It is expected that the candidate will be able to work independently with minimal supervision and assist in data analysis, interpretation and manuscript preparation.
    Applicants must hold a PhD in a relevant field of microbiology or immunology. The successful applicant has a track record of academic and research excellence (as indicated by multiple first author publications in reputable peer-reviewed journals) and will have experience in:
    • microbiology including routine molecular work and microbiology techniques (e.g., microbial culture preparation, PCR, ELISA)
    • fluorescent imaging and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)
    • using computer software programs such as R or equivalent

    The following skills are considered an advantage over other candidates:
    • Experience with working with small rodents (e.g., mice)
    • Experience with bioinformatics and whole genome sequencing analysis, including -omics data analysis

    In addition, the candidate should have the following skills and attributes:
    • Team player with creative thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills
    • Able to work independently (self-motivated) with excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
    • Willing to learn new techniques and good communication skills
    • Willing to contribute to general laboratory activities
    • Contribute to the supervision of postgraduate and undergraduate students in a chemistry as well as microbiology laboratory.

    This is a full-time, fixed term position for 24 months starting early 2024. The candidate must have the right to live and work in New Zealand at the start of this project.

    The salary for this position is NZD $86,210 per annum.

    Specific enquiries may be directed to Dr Daniel Pletzer ([email protected]), Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

    Interested candidates must provide a short cover letter and a detailed CV (highlighting publications relevant to this project) which includes the names of at least two academic/scientific referees.

    Apply here:

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