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We are looking for a PhD student to work within the project ‘Polyfunctional antibodies for HIV-1 vaccine and cure research’. HIV-1 continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality around the world with increasing social and economic impact, calling for better prophylactic and therapeutic approaches. A major goal in HIV-1 vaccine research is to induce potent neutralizing antibodies, because they have repeatedly been shown to protect macaques from HIV-1 challenge. Besides their role in virus neutralization, antibodies mediate a vast array of additional effector functions via their Fc domain, including phagocytosis (ADCP), complement activation (ADCL) and infected cell lysis (ADCC). For this reason, the ability of potent neutralizing antibodies to also have Fc-mediated effector functions has emerged as a possible complementary component of their protective effect. As a Ph.D. student, you will study the development of potent antibody responses during natural HIV-1 infection, focusing on different Fc mediated antibody functions, in the Amsterdam Cohort. In particular, you will set up and perform multiplexed Fc assays using Flow Cytometry. In addition, monoclonal antibodies will be isolated and full characterization of the antibodies will be performed to a) determine the target epitope and antibody function (e.g. ADCC, ADCP and ADCL), b) determine the binding kinetics and the affinity for different Fc-receptors and c) test their prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy against HIV-1.
We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and creative researcher with a master degree in Biomedical Sciences or a related discipline, with affinity for Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Experience in molecular biology is required and experience with Flow Cytometry, ELISA, ADCC assay and/or protein engineering is preferred. We are seeking a candidate who is a flexible and pro-active team player, but who can also work independently and has excellent communications skills in English, both written and verbal.
The appointment will be for a period of four years and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis).
Based on a full-time appointment (36 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from EUR 2.279,00 in the first year, to EUR 2.919,00 in the fourth year. We offer a salary in line with the Collective Labor Agreement for University Medical Centers in the Netherlands (CAO UMC) with a range of added fringe benefits, such as an annual bonus of 8.3%, holiday allowance, collective discounted rates for a number of insurances, public transport allowance, and free parking. You will be employed by the AMC Medical Research BV.
You will work in the group of Dr. van Gils within the Department of Medical Microbiology. The mission of the department is to be a world leader in the field of medical microbiology and infection prevention to combat the increasing infectious disease problems in a continuously changing environment. The Van Gils group consist of several PhD students and technicians, and works closely with the group of Prof. Sanders at the same department on the development of a vaccine against HIV-1. The Van Gils group’s mission is to make a lasting impact on the field of vaccine development by comprehending the underlying immunology behind vaccination, in particular the elicitation of antibody responses.
Academic Medical Center (AMC)
Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam
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