PhD Position, Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University, Belgium

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Molecular epidemiology of Chlamydopila (Chlamydia) psittaci infections in humans and development of a recombinant C. psittaci vaccine for chickens

Period: for 2 years with a possibility to prolong till 4 years.
The research will be conducted in the Laboratory for Immunology and Animal Cell Biotechnology of Ghent University, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Coupure links, 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Daisy Vanrompay

Research summary:
Human psittacosis (parrot fever) is a zoonotic infectious disease, which is caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) psittaci. Transmission of the disease from birds to humans usually originates from close contact with infected birds, most frequently in the context of the poultry industry. The infection is highly prevalent in turkeys and ducks. But, recently we demonstrated that C. psittaci is also widely spread in the chickens. The purpose of the research is to examine the transmission of C. psittaci from infected chickens to humans (co-operation with Ghent University hospital). In addition, we are going to develop a recombinant C. psittaci vaccine for chickens, as vaccination chickens would also reduce the risk of zoonotic C. psittaci transmission to humans.

Techniques: routine molecular cloning techniques, production of recombinant proteins, isolation of C. psittaci in different cell cultures, immunofluorescence staining, antibody ELISA’s, real-time PCR, micro arrays, gene sequencing, T cel proliferation assays, flow cytometry, production of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, 2D-gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting gaining experience in a biosafety level 3 laboratory (BSL3)

Start of the project: Possible from August 1st 2011

Degree: Master in Microbiology, Master in Animals Sciences, Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Master in Biosciences, Master in Biotechnology, Master in Molecular Biotechnology, Master in Immunology, Master in Agricultural Sciences

Please send your application (motivation lettre + CV) to:

Prof. Dr. D. Vanrompay
Vakgroep Moleculaire Biotechnologie
Faculteit Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen, UGent
Coupure links, 653
9000 Gent
Tel: (0)9 2645972; Fax: +32(0)9 2646219
Last application date: 2011-07-01 16:40

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