Birds are the main hosts of influenza A viruses, with viruses from 17 different hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes known to circulate. Most avian influenza viruses are low pathogenic (LPAIV), but viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes can spontaneously convert to highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) upon transmission from wild waterfowl to domestic poultry. This has occurred at least 47 times over the past 50 years. HPAIVs cause systemic infection with mortality rates of up to 100% in poultry and are a major burden for avian health, but also a constant zoonotic threat, as illustrated by the numerous mammalian spillover events observed during the current H5 HPAIV outbreak. Despite the clear importance of this topic, we are lacking fundamental information about the genesis of HPAIV.
Your work will focus on understanding the mechanisms, subtype and species-restriction of HPAIV emergence at the molecular level. Your experimental work will include basic techniques in virology, primary cell and continuous line cell culture, state-of-the art molecular biology, reverse genetics, biochemical assays, and next-generation sequencing.
The Department of Viroscience at Erasmus MC employs more than 110 employees of different disciplines and runs an extensive experimental research program on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of infections by human and animal viruses. All necessary equipment to carry out the research proposed is available within the setting of the department. The Department of Viroscience harbors well-equipped clinical and experimental virology labs, in which all the virology, molecular biology, pathology and immunology techniques necessary for the project are operational.
You will be part of the team of Dr. Mathilde Richard, whose recent focus has been on the understanding of HPAIV emergence and in which the necessary expertise and experience to receive appropriate training and support is available.
Qualifications and skills
We are looking for a PhD candidate who is enthusiastic, highly motivated and who demonstrates a drive for fundamental research in virology.
- Candidate should hold a MSc degree or equivalent from an accredited academic program in biology, biomedical or molecular sciences, immunology, or (veterinary) medicine.
- Demonstrable experience with cell culture and various molecular and/or and virological techniques are necessary.
- Candidate should have an excellent command of the English language, both oral and written.
- Candidate is expected to obtain their PhD in 4 years, with Dr. Mathilde Richard as co-promotor and Prof. Dr. R.A.M. Fouchier as promotor.
Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.
For more information about this position, please contact Dr Mathilde Richard, Associate Professor:
If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website.
No agencies please.