Applicants are invited for a post-doctoral RA position that will examine the Type VI secretion system (T6SS) found in many Gram-negative bacteria. We recently discovered that the T6SS can also be used as a potent weapon against fungal competitors and identified the first fungal-specific T6SS effector proteins, which cause fungal cell death. This system is likely to be widespread and represent a key determinant of competitive inter-microbial interactions in diverse polymicrobial communities, including those relevant to health and disease. In this project, we have assembled an expert, multi-disciplinary team to investigate the nature, role and molecular basis of T6SS-mediated anti-fungal activity.
The successful applicant will work as part of this multi-disciplinary team to use super-resolution microscopy to study the formation and action of the T6SS in bacterial cells and visualise the fate of T6SS-delivered proteins in intoxicated fungal cells. We will apply a range of state of-the-art-techniques, including STED, sptPALM, dSTORM and TCSPC-FLIM, to this exciting new biological system. This Wellcome Trust funded project started in November 2019 and the position is available for 31 months in the first instance, with the possibility of further extension.
Candidates should have a PhD in a relevant scientific discipline and a proven track record in bacterial or fungal biology or microscopy. Previous expertise in some of the technical aspects of this project, including molecular biology, microbiology, microscopy and image analysis, would be advantageous. Candidates should also have excellent communication and presentation skills and be able to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. The PDRA will primarily be based at Heriot-Watt University but will be required to perform specific work packages (genetic manipulation and phenotypic analysis of microbial strains) at the University of Dundee. In addition, there will be opportunities for the PDRA to visit other partner institutions involved in the project. The successful candidate will be expected to perform all aspects of the project and will have the opportunity to present their work at national and international conferences.