Postdoctoral Fellowship Chemical disarming of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Postdoctoral Fellowship Chemical disarming of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Umeå University, Department of Molecular Biology

Umeå, Sweden

A postdoctoral fellowship is currently available in a joint project between visiting assistant professor Christina Stallings (Department of Molecular Biology Umeå University (UmU) / Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University, St. Louis School of Medicine USA), assistant professor Christer Larsson (Department of Molecular Biology UmU) and Professor Fredrik Almqvist at Department of and Chemistry, UmU. The fellowship is for two years with a scholarship from the Kempe foundation. The majority of the project will be performed at Department of Molecular Biology, UmU.

The research project
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) results in over 9 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) every year, and the emergence of drug-resistant Mtb strains has exacerbated this already alarming epidemic. Current regimen for the treatment of TB includes a combination of antibiotics for at least six to nine months. In our team we work towards the discovery of new agents with unique mechanisms of action to treat Mtb infection. Towards this end, we have developed a new family of compounds (termed Mycobacterial Tolerance Inhibitors, MTIs) that potently sensitize Mtb to stresses encountered during infection and restores activity to the frontline antibiotic isoniazid (INH) in otherwise INH-resistant Mtb isolates. The objectives of the current project are to dissect the mode of action and the detailed mechanism by which MTIs impact INH- and stress-sensitivity and to optimize the current lead MTIs for translation into a therapeutic. Successful completion of these aims will help us achieve our long-term objective: to develop new compounds that improve the current standard treatment for patients with drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB. We will also generate a deeper understanding of the MTIs potential synergistic interactions with other drugs and discover new targets. We have assembled an interdisciplinary team of specialists within cell- molecular- and structural biology and organic chemistry with Umeå as base but with collaborators in Oslo, Norway and St. Louis, USA. We are now looking for a curious, motivated postdoc to mainly study the microbiological and molecular aspects of the project.

Competence requirements
Successful candidates should hold a Ph.D. in microbiology, molecular biology or closely related field. We are looking for a candidate with laboratory experience in microbiological and molecular biology with knowledge in medical microbiology and bacteria-host interactions. Experience in biochemistry is a merit but not a requirement. Very good oral and written communication skills in English are required. Emphasis will also be placed on personal qualities such as collaboration and communication skills as well as analytical capacity. It is important that you have a good sense of initiative, and the ability to work independently as well as together with others. You are enthusiastic and interact positively with other members of the group and the institute and are willing to share and gain knowledge from others.

Application
The application should be submitted electronically (as one single document in pdf-format) to christer.larsson@umu.se and include:

- A cover letter in which you describe your qualifications and motivations (max 1 page)
- Your thoughts about drug development against TB in general (max 1 page)
- CV and publication list
- Copies of diplomas
- Names and contact information of at least three references

The fellowship is available immediately for 2 years. Applications are considered until the vacancy is filled.
For further information about the project and position, please contact Dr. Christer Larsson, Department of molecular biology, christer.larsson@umu.se

Webpages:
www.molbiol.umu.se/english/research/researchers/christer-larsson
http://stallingslab.wustl.edu/
http://www.chemistry.umu.se/forskning/group-leaders/fredrik-almqvist/

About Umeå University
Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. We offer a wide variety of courses and programs, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. More than 4 300 employees and more than 31 500 students from many different countries have already chosen Umeå University.

About the Department of Molecular Biology
We are about 200 employees in 25 research groups with one foot in the Medical faculty and one in the Science faculty. Since our workplace is very international with staff from 39 countries, the natural language is English. Bacterial pathogens is a big and strong research field with long history at the department.

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Postdoctoral Fellowship Chemical disarming of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis