Postdoctoral Position on modelling immune response to infectious diseases

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    Vitaly Ganusov

    A post-doctoral position is available in the laboratory of Vitaly V. Ganusov in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in the area of modeling within-host dynamics of T cell response to malaria infection.

    Our laboratory is currently focuses on studying the role of T cell responses, mainly CD8 T cell responses, in the control of pathogens in mammalian hosts. Despite great advances in biology and medicine in controlling infectious diseases with antibiotics/antivirals and vaccines we still have a limited understanding how pathogens cause the disease and how immune responses control pathogen growth within the host. In our laboratory we adopt a philosophy of data-driven mathematical modeling whereby we combine the use of models and analysis of experimental data (see Ganusov Front Microbiol 2016). This specific project will focus on understanding how vaccine-induced CD8 T cells locate and eliminate Plasmodium parasites, causing malaria, from murine livers. Experimental data come from intravital imaging experiments documenting movement of T cells in the liver, localization of T cells around Plasmodium-infected hepatocytes, and elimination of the parasite. The ultimate goal is to understand the number and quality of vaccine-induced memory CD8 T cells needed to provide sterilizing protection against Plasmodium infection. There will be also an opportunity to work on questions related to other infections such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis or general questions in immunology (such as lymphocyte recirculation).

    1) PhD (or equivalent) in mathematics, biology, physics, or a similar area.
    2) Previous documented experience in mathematical/computational biology.
    3) Solid knowledge of one of a higher level programming languages (R, Python, Matlab, Mathematica, or similar).
    4) Good oral and written communication skills.

    Basic understanding of infectious disease biology/immunology is a plus.

    Position starts in January 2020 for 1 year with a possibility of extension for an additional year given adequate performance and availability of funding.

    Salary is on the NIH scale with full University of Tennessee employee fringe benefits.

    To apply, please send your CV, 2-3 pdf copies of your papers best representing your contribution to science, and arrange for 2-3 letters of reference from your colleagues and/or advisers to be sent to Vitaly Ganusov ( or For each chosen paper please write one paragraph explaining why you chose it and how this specific paper makes the contribution to science (1 page for the self-chosen 2-3 papers).

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