Rotaviruses are one of the main causative agents for severe dehydrating diarrhoea in humans and animals and more than 80% of global rotavirus related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Molecular Virology group at the University of the Free State have an exciting position for a dynamic postdoctoral fellow to development a bovine rotavirus reverse genetics system (RGS). This project forms part of the Antigens and Reassortant Strains for Rotaviruses Circulating in Africa (AfRota) research program, which aims to generate antigens and antigenic strains to serve as a basis for future development of rotavirus vaccines, specifically designed for the use in Africa. AfRota is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and consists of a consortium of scientists based in Germany (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment), Mozambique (National Institute of Health) and South Africa (UFS and NorthWest University).
The candidate will coordinate with partners for sampling; perform screening of the bovine rotavirus strains, adaptation of the strains to cell culture, development of the bovine RGS and characterisation of reassortant strains with next generation sequencing. The candidate will also be involved in supervision of MSc students and in general project coordination.
The ideal candidate must have a PhD in Biochemistry, Microbiology, Virology or a related field with extensive experience in mammalian cell culture, molecular techniques such as cloning, qPCR as well as virology techniques. Previous experience in a Biosafety Level 2 lab will be beneficial. The candidate should have a relevant publication record, be able to work independently but also function well as part of a team. The candidate should also have a code B driver’s licence.
Please provide a cover letter summarising your areas of expertise, research interests and experience, your CV as well as academic record in one pdf file. Also include the names and contact details of three referees. The deadline for applications is 30 November 2020. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The successful applicant should be available to commence with the fellowship no later than February 2021.