Glycobiology and Cell Biology of Toxoplasma Infection

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Amar Annamalai
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Glycobiology and Cell Biology of Toxoplasma Infection

Job Description

Only candidates based in the United States will be considered for this position

A postdoctoral position is available immediately in the laboratory of Anthony Sinai PhD. at the University of Kentucky. The laboratory’s interests are in the area of the Cell Biology of the Host-Pathogen interaction using Toxoplasma gondii as a model system. Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite capable of infecting all warm blooded animals including humans. Within the human (and murine) host the parasite alternates between an actively growing form and a metabolically quiescent tissue cyst form. This latter form which is understudied, is characterized by a heavily glycosylated cyst wall the composition and biogenesis of which is largely unknown.

There are currently 2 NIH-supported projects active in the lab. The first is to define the role of glycosylation (N-linked) in the formation and stability of the tissue cyst using proteomic and molecular/ cell biological approaches. The second project explores the hypothesis that the sialylation of the parasite cyst wall is a consequence of host activities. This radical hypothesis emerges from the fact that the Toxoplasma cyst is heavily sialylated, despite the parasite genome lacking any of the activities involved in sialic acid synthesis, activation or transfer. This aspect has a significant probability of shifting the paradigm with regard to the extent to which pathogens subvert host cell functions. We propose that by coating itself in host glycans (including but not restricted to sialic acid) the parasite may afford itself a degree of immunological invisibility.

The ideal candidate for this position will have a strong background in glycobiology coupled with an interest in infectious diseases. The laboratory has a long history of studies related to the cell biology of Toxoplasma and its interaction with the host cell. The candidate will have a unique opportunity to synergize their expertise in glycobiology with the molecular and cell biological studies in the lab thus creating a unique niche for future advancement. At this time studies on the glycobiolgical basis of the pathogen- host interaction are extremely limited providing an opportunity to do truly impactful work.

The approaches used in the laboratory include state of the art cell biological (fluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy, live cell imaging, flow cytometry, subcellular fractionation), biochemical (protein biology and purification, proteomics, assay development) and molecular biological (genetic screens, molecular cloning, quantitative RT-PCR, bioinformatics). While the PI has limited experience in glycobiology, the expertise of the candidate is expected to synergize this aspect of the work.

The successful candidate should have a background in molecular and/or cell biology and an interest in microbial pathogenesis. Salary and benefits will be commiserate with experience. The Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, offers a highly interactive environment with an emphasis on training. The University is located in Lexington, Kentucky and offers an excellent quality of life. The University of Kentucky is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

Please submit a curriculum vitae, a 1-2 page outline of research interests and professional goals and the names of 3 professional references. Information should be submitted electronically (as a single pdf files) to Anthony Sinai PhD. E-mail : eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%73%69%6e%61%69%40%75%6b%79%2e%65%64%75%22%3e%73%69%6e%61%69%40%75%6b%79%2e%65%64%75%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b')).
Web site:
Contact:      Anthony Sinai
Micro, Immun. & Mol. Gen.
University of Kentucky
MN 414 Medical Center
800 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536-0298
United States
Phone: 8593236680
Fax: 8592578994

Deadline: Contact employer

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