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Research Associate Positions

Current Research Associate vacancies within the Centre for Pathogen Evolution.

2 x Research Associates: 

Computational analyses of influenza virus evolution


SALARY:                                 £31,604-£38,833

REFERENCE:                           PF15778 and PF15781

CLOSING DATE:                     15 July 2018

We invite applications for 2 x postdoctoral Research Associate positions to join the Centre for Pathogen Evolution in the Department of Zoology, located in Central Cambridge. The appointment will be for a period of up to two years starting as soon as possible.

The research focus is to design and develop analytical, computational, and mathematical methods to understand the fundamental processes that govern the evolution of influenza viruses. The aim is to translate this understanding into the prediction of possible future antigenic variants to guide currently funded phase II clinical trials of next generation influenza vaccines. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and involves substantial global collaboration with experimental virologists, immunologists and clinicians to quantify the selection pressures on influenza viruses to better understand their evolutionary dynamics, and to inform control strategies. The project positions, funded by US government agencies NIH and BARDA are to start on 1 August 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience for the Role:

  • PhD completed in an appropriate area (eg, genetics, virology, statistics, mathematics)
  • Excellent analytic, design, and scientific skills
  • Ambition, drive, strong work ethic, and good interpersonal skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • The ability to organise time and work effectively, independently and responsibly in a research team setting
  • Enthusiasm to interact with colleagues in a multi-disciplinary and collaborative environment
  • The ability to engage in continuing professional development and to keep relevant specialist knowledge up to date.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • The responsibility of this position is to contribute to analysis and scientific understanding of pathogen evolution as a member of Professor Derek Smith's research group within the Department of Zoology.
  • The post holder will be expected to participate in the dissemination of research through publications and oral presentations both within the department and at conferences.
  • The post holder may also be expected to advise, train, and co-supervise PhD students and other junior or visiting postdoctoral researchers within the group, and to periodically write reports for funding bodies and other supporting institutions.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for up to 24 months.

To apply online please visit the University Job Opportunities website for these positions, PF15778 and PF15781

Informal email enquiries regarding this position may be made to or to .

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Derek Smith is accepting applications for PhD students.


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Key Publications

Derek J. Smith, Alan S. Lapedes, et al, (2004). Mapping the Antigenic and Genetic Evolution of Influenza Virus Science 305(5682):371-376.

Colin A. Russell, Terry C. Jones, et al, (2008). The Global Circulation of Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Viruses Science 320(5874):340-346.

Björn F. Koel, David F. Burke, et al, (2013). Substitutions Near the Receptor Binding Site Determine Major Antigenic Change During Influenza Virus Evolution Science 342(6161):976-979.

J. M. Fonville, S. H. Wilks, et al, (2014). Antibody landscapes after influenza virus infection or vaccination Science 346(6212):996-1000

Colin A. Russell, Judith M. Fonville, et al, (2012). The Potential for Respiratory Droplet–Transmissible A/H5N1 Influenza Virus to Evolve in a Mammalian Host Science 336(6088):1541-1547