The University of Bristol 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 Prof 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 collabo¬ration 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.
The applicant 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.
The successful candidate 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.
Essential requirements/skills for the post
- PhD in immunology or relevant subject area
- Track record of excellence in research and strong project management skills
- 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.