Venizelos Papayannopoulos, Senior Group Leader
This is a full-time, fixed term (2 years) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.
We are looking for a scientist with experience and excellent skills in bioinformatics to undertake a translational project in our lab.
The Research Group
Our lab studies the mechanisms that drive inflammation and regulate immune responses during severe infection and inflammatory diseases. We are particularly interested in the role of extracellular chromatin as pro-inflammatory agents and have been investigating the contribution of cell-free histones and DNA in immune pathology.
In response to the recent pandemic, we conducted a clinical trial in collaboration with UCL and funded by Lifearc, Roche and Pari to test a potential therapy aimed at reducing immune pathology in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients were treated with Dornase, an enzyme that degrades extracellular chromatin with the aim of blocking hyperinflammation and improving recovery and patient outcomes. In addition to primary and secondary clinical endpoints, we collected longitudinal blood samples from treated and randomised control patients in order to understand the impact of the treatment on immune populations and mechanisms of coagulopathy.
The project will combine proteomic analysis of patient plasma with transcriptomic analysis of isolated immune populations and cytokine arrays to understand the impact of the treatment on immune populations and their responses with a focus on neutrophils. This project will be undertaken in collaboration with the lab of Markus Ralser and our Crick facilities.
The candidate will undertake the task of analysing the data and potentially conducting a few wet lab experiments to investigate these exploratory endpoints of the clinical trial. The human data can also be compared to data that we have collected on other patient cohorts and animal models of sepsis.
This is a unique opportunity to study an important clinical trial sample set and understand the impact of extracellular DNA degradation in iterating infectious disease in humans.
Key experience and competencies
The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:
Qualifications, experience and competencies
- PhD in a relevant field and should possess
- Excellent bioinformatics analysis skills
- Experience in performing straight-forward RNAseq sample preparation
- Enthusiasm for research
- Excellent organizational and time-management skills