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Ref2318: Postdoc position - Effector-triggered immunity pathways

The Gaidt lab at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) has an open ERC-funded Postdoc position to explore how the innate immune system senses the activity of pathogens. We are looking for an enthusiastic scientist with a PhD degree in immunology, molecular biology, or gene regulation. If you are passionate about research and excited to advance your scientific career in an outstanding research environment, you may be the one we are looking for!

The Gaidt lab is a multidisciplinary research group interested in the molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions, innate immunology and anti-tumor immunity. We apply functional genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and in vivo mouse models to study immune functions and find creative ways to exploit them for therapeutic benefit. Our lab is at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) at the Vienna BioCenter, a life-science hub in the vibrant city of Vienna, Austria, which is frequently ranked the world’s best city to live in. We provide an exciting training opportunity with world-class support at the group-, institute-, and campus-level including state-of-the-art facilities.

Canonical recognition of pathogens by the innate immune system relies on the detection of microbial products as molecular patterns. However, plants and bacteria can also sense the activity of pathogenic virulence factors (effectors) to induce effector-triggered immunity (ETI). The importance of ETI in mammalian innate immune systems is not clear. We have previously identified the MORC3-MRE pathways as the first mammalian ETI-pathway that recognizes the enzymatic activities of DNA viruses to induce the anti-viral cytokine interferon. The advertised position has two potential research avenues: (1) What is the physiological relevance of the MORC3-MRE ETI pathway during viral infection and homeostasis in vivo? To address this question, we have generated novel gain- and loss-of-function mouse models. (2) Are there other ETI pathways in human monocytes? To address this question, we have set up a robotics-based screening platform that allows large-scale forward genetic screens.

Applications with a cover letter outlining your research interests, a CV including a list of publications and the contact details for two-three academic referees should be sent to until 15 December 2023.

Group webpage:

Selected publications:

M.M. Gaidt#, A. Morrow, M.R. Fairgrieve, J.P. Karr, N. Yosef and R.E. Vance#,  Self-guarding of MORC3 enables virulence factor-triggered immunity, Nature 600, 138–142 (2021). #co-corresponding authors

B.C. Remick, M.M. Gaidt, R.E. Vance, Effector-Triggered Immunity, Annual Review of Immunology 41, 453–481 (2023)