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Postdoctoral Scientist - Primary Immune Deficiencies

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John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford (UK)

Overview of the role

The work will be performed in the Clinical Immunology Unit under the direction of Dr Smita Patel and will focus on the DNA repair pathway in Common Variable Immune Deficiency Disorders (CVID).

CVIDs comprise a heterogeneous group of primary antibody deficiencies and form the most clinically significant antibody failure in adults.  In the majority of patients the disease is sporadic and polygenic in nature.  The disease related complications include polyclonal lymphocytic infiltration, autoimmune cytopenias, enteropathy and lymphoid malignancy.  Patients with at least one of these complications have a much worse prognosis and it is poorly understood why this is the case and how we may identify these patients early.

We have undertaken next generation sequencing in a cohort of CVID patients and identified pathways of interest for further investigation (vanshowenburg et al Clinical Immunology 2015).

The successful candidate will play a central role in establishing a range of techniques to drive forward the next phase of this project. The project will involve the interrogation of the DNA repair pathway (in particular V(D)J recombination) in CVID patients using next generation sequencing, genome editing and the development of functional cellular assays.

The position is funded by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award awarded to Dr Smita Patel and is fixed for 24months, full time.


  • To independently plan and carry out cutting edge laboratory research, generating and keeping records of all experimental results.
  • To advance one or more of the key areas of research undertaken in the laboratory.
  • To work as part of a team, working co-operatively with senior and junior colleagues and share laboratory and research resources.
  • To present data and ideas at regular laboratory group meetings.
  • To participate in presenting the research results and preparing reports and publications necessary for the successful performance of the research.
  • To attend national/international conferences and present research to non-specialist audiences where appropriate.
  • To help supervise junior lab members, discuss research results and provide advice as appropriate.
  • To communicate effectively with PhD students, research assistants and visiting workers.
  • To be innovative and help identify new strategies and design new research proposals in liaison with the Group Head.
  • To report regularly and at least weekly to the Group Head on scientific activities and any other issues that may influence the optimal running of the project and other projects within the group.
  • To participate in the smooth running of the laboratory and share in management responsibilities in the laboratory.
  • To act at all times in the interests of the group.
  • To be accountable for personal professional conduct within the project.
  • To ensure that work in the Department is conducted safely, legally and in accord with the highest standards of data protection.
  • To give due regard to the University Equal Opportunities, Data Protection and other relevant policies.
  • To undertake such other duties as may be required from time to time that are commensurate with the grade and responsibilities of this post.

Selection criteria


  • A PhD in Immunology or related studies.
  • Some understanding/experience of primary immunodeficiencies
  • Previous experience and proven research skills in basic molecular biology, mammalian cell culture and immunology.
  • Previous experience using transfection/transduction systems and/or the CRISPR/Cas9 system for genomic engineering
  • Able to demonstrate the ability to manage the day-to-day running of a research project.
  • An ability to present research in written and oral form.
  • Able to demonstrate the ability to work well independently as well as part of a team.
  • A willingness to show initiative in developing and planning new strategies and new techniques and to achieve research goals.
  • An ability to demonstrate excellent and effective communications with other laboratory members and can provide both written and oral examples of liaising regularly with the Group Leader to develop and discuss ideas.
  •   At least two first author-articles in a leading refereed journal.


  • Previous experience in genetics.
  • Previous experience in the field of DNA repair.
  • Keen desire to be innovative and help identify new strategies and design new research proposals.

Enquiries about this post can be addressed to;




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