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HEalth data LInkage for ClinicAL benefit (HELICAL)Project title ESR No. 11 - Extracelluar Vesicles (EV) as markers of active disease in AAV

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, April 18, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The present post is based in the Department of Pathology at the Medical University of Vienna and will be supervised by Professor RENATE KAIN.

Rationale: The project is based on the fact that a lack of means to reliably identify the cells EVs originate from has hampered the use of EVs as markers of disease activity.

Objectives: The appointee will optimise methods to isolate EVs and analyse their cellular and organ origin by assessing differentially expressed surface proteins. In collaboration with KTH, the targeted approach will exploit the resources and expertise from the Human Protein Atlas and use the unique proteome-wide collection of polyclonal antibodies in well-established antibody array and magnetic bead technology, complemented by classical protein biochemistry, proteomic and immunological methods. Once the analysis of surface expressed protein repertoire allows reliable linkage of individual EV patterns to the tissue of origin, the ESR will analyse complex EV mixtures in plasma samples from healthy subjects and from two well characterised clinical cohorts of patients with vasculitis at various stages of disease, and stratified by gender (INTRICATE discovery cohort [MUW] and RKD [TCD] validation cohort) to evaluate whether these methods can be used to identify individual EV subsets in healthy subjects and patients with AAV (ANCA-associated vasculitis).

Expected Results: Sera from patients with quiescent and active AAV will be evaluated as to whether they can be used as biomarkers of active disease, using machine learning that incorporates clinical data to develop diagnostic algorithms.

The following eligibility criteria apply:
Early-stage researchers (ESRs) must, at the date of recruitment by the beneficiary, be IN THE FIRST FOUR years* (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
* measured from date when researchers obtained the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate.

Researchers who have NOT resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for MORE than 12 months in the 3 years IMMEDIATELY BEFORE the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

 Experience of undertaking academic research
Experience in statistics, bioinformatics or computational biology an advantage
 Good IT skills
 Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with good attention to detail
 Good interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, ability to communicate effectively
 Good time management and planning skills, ability to meet tight deadlines and manage competing demands effectively
 Proven ability to work well both independently and as part of a team
 Strong commitment to your own continuous professional development
 Ability to
perform practical experimental measurements
 interpret results and perform analysis on experimental data
 write scientific reports and papers using clear and concise English
 communicate research results through scientific presentations
 develop creative approaches to problem solving
 analyse and solve problems with an appreciation of longer-term implications
 direct own day-to-day work

Please email the following documents to :
a. Statement of motivation (max. 500 words)
b. 1-page CV (applications with CVs exceeding 1 page will be rejected) including up to 5 most important publications
c. Internal Application Form. Please download via this link (will expire on 28 March 2019, will be extended thereafter):

Selection process
Applicants submit their applications by 18 April 2019.
Host institutions perform a first eligibility check and shortlist candidates.
Board Meeting.
Applicants are asked to submit university diplomas, certificates, transcripts, proof of skills and 2 references after shortlisting/prior to an interview.
Interviews with applicants: from week commencing 18 March 2019.
Interviews via Zoom webex with 2-3 Panel members + local Principal Investigator.
Successful candidates are informed by 25 March 2019 at the earliest.

HELICAL pursues a policy of equal opportunities on matters of gender and disability and will seek to recruit an equal proportion of male and female applicants and will provide employment opportunities for candidates with disabilities. Where applications of equal quality are received, preference will be given to female candidates as part of a strategy designed to recruit equal numbers of men and women to the HELICAL posts. Employment procedures and contracts will conform to the European Charter for Researchers / Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Funding Notes

The per annum Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher living and mobility allowance (plus family allowance if applicable, family status is assessed at recruitment and will not evolve during the action lifetime) is in line with Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network requirements. This amount will be subject to tax and employee’s National Insurance deductions, and will be paid in EUR.

Specific Requirements
As the project may involve patient contact and recruitment, medical training and some command of the German language are beneficial, but not mandatory.
Analysis of data sets from proteomics and transcriptomics
Cell culture and generation of extracellular vesicles

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