Lead researcher, Professor Ultan Power at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Queen's University Belfast has been awarded a grant of GBP 295,626 by the UKRI/NIHR COVID-19 rapid response call to screen and validate FDA-approved drugs for potential to be re-purposed as therapeutics against COVID-19.
Professor Power and his team of postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and a technician will now direct their expertise to screen existing drugs for activity against COVID-19. They are now urgently recruiting for a Research Fellow with expertise in respiratory viruses, human airway epithelium cultures, respiratory virus/human airway interactions, and drug re-purposing to join Prof Power's research group as soon as possible.
Airway epithelial cells are the primary targets for SARS-CoV-2. They have developed novel well-differentiated primary airway epithelial cell culture models of respiratory virus infection. These cultures will be exploited to validate antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities of the re-purposed FDA-approved drug combinations. This project, therefore, will play an important part in the rapid response and global fight against this new pandemic virus. The successful candidate will work in partnership with members of the Power group and plan and perform experiments, and be involved in the supervision and training of junior lab members.
The successful candidate must have:
PhD in virology, cell biology, innate immunity, or equivalent subject.
At least 3 years' relevant research experience to include a wide range of laboratory techniques appropriate to study host/pathogen interactions, such as excellent cell culture capabilities, virology, biochemistry, and fluorescent microscopy.
It would be ideal if candidates have experience working with human coronaviruses, especially BSL3 viruses, like SARS-CoV, culturing primary airway epithelial cells, in particular well-differentiated primary airway epithelial cell cultures; virology, in particular respiratory viruses; innate immunity, in particular chemokine/cytokine responses to infection.
This contract is available for 12 months in the first instance with the possibility of an extension subject to funding.
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