PhD position studying the role of peroxisomes in the Innate Immune System (cellular, systemic and barrier immune responses) – Dalhousie University.
The research group of Dr. Francesca Di Cara is looking to recruit two highly motivated PhD students to join her group to study the previously unexplored role of peroxisomes. Peroxisomes are ubiquitous metabolic organelles recently discovered to participate in host-pathogen interactions and complex autoimmune disorders such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. We perform both bulk and single-cell genomic, transcriptomic, lipidomic and proteomic assays to study the role of peroxisomes in innate immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells in shaping the immune system. Complementarily, we also develop and apply cutting-edge imaging to observe the interactions between microbes (pathogens and commensals) and the immune system, by direct visualization of molecular and cellular interactions at the single-cell, and tissue level. Our scope ranges from fundamental molecular mechanisms to clinical applications. We use mainly the Drosophila melanogaster model but also mouse models as well as human samples for research with goals for advancing fundamental sciences as well as clinical applications. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and involves close collaborations between the Issekutz, Marshall and the McCormick labs at Dalhousie University. Furthermore, we have collaborations with the University of Amsterdam to develop specific lipidomic profiles of immune cells. We are part of the Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre, which offers a great scientific environment for young researchers.
-Previous experience in cell biology/immunology/molecular biology/animal models/tissue culture
-The willingness to work with Drosophila melanogaster and mice is a prerequisite
-basic immunological and histological techniques such as flow cytometry and immunofluorescent stainings are beneficial
-Programming skills (R/Python) for transcriptome analysis are advantageous
Your application should include:
- brief summary of your previous work experience (max. 1/2 page)
- contact information of referees and dates when you wish to start the position
- optional: 1 page research proposal for your PhD project, which builds on the study Di Cara et al. Immunity 2017
Enquiries and applications to: Dr. Francesca Di Cara, email@example.com
Francesca Di Cara currently works as Assistant Professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dalhousie University. Her most recent publication is 'Dysfunctional peroxisomes compromise gut structure and host defense by increased cell death and Tor-dependent autophagy'. He research explores essential functions for peroxisomes in immunity. In a recent work (Di Cara et al., 2017), She provided the first demonstration of peroxisome direct involvement in immune defense, with evidence of peroxisome requirements in phagocytic pathogen clearance and innate immune signaling in peripheral macrophages and gut epithelial cells.Her research program aims to define peroxisome-specific requirements during immune challenge.