We are seeking an experienced post-doctoral researcher to drive forward a research program examining the role of the IL-23 pathway in inflammatory eye disease, working primarily with Dr Dave Copland and Professor Andrew Dick in Bristol, as part of a wider collaboration involving academic and industrial partners.
Uveitis as the leading cause of blindness in working age adults in the developed world is characterised by immune-mediated inflammation of the uvea; the layer of tissue that lies between the outer layer of the eye (the sclera) and the light sensitive retina. As part of the recently established ORBIT consortium (a collaboration between Oxford, Bristol, Birmingham and Liverpool Universities) we have identified a novel T cell population resident in the anterior region of the human uvea. Analogous to IL-23R+ cells that mediate systemic inflammatory diseases (including IBD, psoriasis and Spondyloarthropathy), these are considered potential drivers for human Uveitis. Using an IL-23 driven mouse model of uveitis we have demonstrated the requirement of this novel T cell population to elicit ocular inflammation.
As the successful applicant, you will take a lead role in this project, and using a combination in vivo assessment (clinical imaging of the mouse eye) and ex vivo cell and tissue techniques (multi-parameter flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, single cell transcriptional profiling) to characterize the spatial localization and tissue stromal interactions of this novel T cell population. This pharma-funded research programme runs in parallel with our partners at the Kennedy Institute, who are undertaking similar assessment in post-mortem human uveal tissue samples. Enhanced understanding of how this population contributes to ocular inflammation will inform future therapeutic development and evaluation of novel inhibitors of the IL-23 pathway.
As the successful candidate you will join the wider academic community of the Ophthalmology research group at the University of Bristol which has diverse interests including in ocular immunology, gene therapy and clinical links to the Bristol Eye Hospital.
What will you be doing?
Over the next 36 months you will:
- Organise, co-ordinate and perform laboratory research experiments. With support from the wider team this will include in vivo characterization (mouse models of ocular inflammation), multi-parameter flow cytometry (analyzer and cell sorting platforms), molecular biology (next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics), and fluorescence imaging (Confocal and Lightsheet microscopy)
- Contribute/Lead writing articles that will be published in high quality peer reviewed journals
- Liaison with related external collaborations (academic and industrial partners)
- Provide support to other studies and members of staff. This includes day-to-day issues and give help or guidance to any support staff and/or research students as required, contributing to upkeep of the laboratory group
- Contribute to the life of the Unit, School and University. For instance, by speaking at events and participating in groups as appropriate
- Be responsible for the day-to-day management of the project You will establish a robust system for project management that addresses all aspects of the research
- Provide regular progress reports and assist in the production of study report You will use your project management to keep the project to time and budget and your analytic skills in helping to prepare reports based on the study’s findings
You should apply if
- You have an active interest in immunology and immune pathobiology
- You are excited about undertaking research that can ultimately help patients with sight loss
- You have a track record of excellence in research and strong project management skills
- You have demonstrable experience in at least two of the following research areas: 1. Working independently with experimental in vivo disease models. 2. Multi-parameter flow cytometry (cell sorting and analyzer platforms). 3. Working experience of fluorescence-based microscopy, including confocal and Lightsheet platforms. 4. Molecular biology experience including the use of next-generation sequencing technology and bioinformatic analyses
- You can build strong, effective relationships with a range of people from different sectors and levels of seniority
- You have excellent communication skills and can clearly articulate verbally and in writing
- You are someone who can get up to speed quickly, thrives on digesting lots of information, is mindful of competing priorities, and can drive activity forward in a sustainable manner
We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.