The recent global stall in the reduction of malaria deaths has made the development of a highly effective vaccine essential. A major challenge to developing an efficacious vaccine is the extensive diversity of Plasmodium falciparum antigens. While genetic diversity plays a major role in immune evasion and is a barrier to the development of both natural and vaccine-induced protective immunity, it has been underprioritized in the evaluation of malaria vaccine candidates. For both current and novel candidates, we will test the role of genetic diversity on immune neutralization by creating transgenic parasites by using efficient CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing. These parasite lines will be used to assess the role of specific variants in immune evasion. This project requires the cohesion of genomic sequencing technologies to identify potential candidate antigens and naturally occurring diversity, well-characterized human longitudinal cohorts to follow evolution of infection and immunity, standardized assays to serve as in vitro correlates of immunity, structure-based approaches for vaccine design, and strong ties to both scientists and institutions in endemic countries. Our research team is uniquely positioned to combine these critical requirements to investigate the implications of parasite diversity on the development of protective immunity and vaccine efficacy, an essential factor to accelerate malaria vaccine discovery. This approach fills a critical need in the malaria vaccine development field in that it brings genetic diversity in candidate antigens to the forefront of vaccine candidate.
We are looking for scientists who have completed their PhD and have experience in one or more fields of Molecular Biology, Genetics (including CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing), Genomics, Biochemistry and/or Structural Biology. We are looking for a motivated and collaborative postdoctoral associate excited to be part of a vibrant and cross-continental research team interested in both fundamental and applied questions in Malaria Biology – specifically in questions of host-pathogen interactions, pathogenesis, and malaria vaccinology.
Please submit a CV, a cover letter explaining your specific reasons why you want to join us, and a list of 3 references along with their contact information.
For questions, please contact Dr. Bei.
Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Yale values diversity among its students, staff, and faculty and strongly welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, protected veterans, and underrepresented minorities.