University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant - Trypanosoma Cruzi Persister Biology

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

We are seeking an experienced parasitologist to join the Translational Parasitology group ( in the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) to study Trypanosoma cruzi persister parasites. The group works closely with the kinetoplastid drug discovery programme in the University of Dundee Drug Discovery Unit and our main interests are the development of fit-for-purpose parasite screening assays, high-throughput and high-content screening, and increasing the understanding of parasite biology directly relevant to drug discovery. Several groups, including ours, have generated evidence for the existence of persister or dormant T. cruzi parasites and their role in disease relapse after treatment, however very little is known about these forms and population heterogeneity in T. cruzi.


The aim of this three-year MRC-funded post is to gain insights into the molecular determinants of persister parasites using advanced technologies such as single-cell RNA-sequencing, tissue imaging and high-content imaging small-molecule screening. The successful applicant will work at the interface of basic science and drug discovery and the post is ideally suited for an academic scientist with a parasitology background and an interest in drug discovery. The project will focus both on increasing our understanding of persisters and on exploring new drug discovery paradigms to tackle persisters. As such, the post holder will be expected to generate key data to enable the development of new medicines for Chagas disease. The appointee will have the opportunity to engage extensively with the drug discovery process for kinetoplastid and other infectious diseases, and thus gain invaluable experience for their future career in academia or industry.

Candidate requirements:

Essential Attributes:

  • PhD in parasitology or closely related field
  • Experience culturing and isolating intracellular pathogens from host cells
  • General understanding of molecular biology and sequencing technologies
  • Ability to work in a team, but also be self-motivated, pro-active and able to plan and work independently

Desired Attributes:

  • Experience with fluorescence microscopy, including with animal tissues (tissue clearing, staining and imaging)
  • Flow cytometry and cell sorting experience
  • Experience culturing kinetoplastid parasites, including intracellular amastigotes
  • Experience with mammalian cell culture
  • Experience working with RNA

Apply Here

The anticipated start date for the post is 2 November 2020, provided this is possible under government guidelines regarding the Covid19 pandemic.

Salary will be between £32,817 - £40,322 depending on experience.

For informal enquiries please contact Manu De Rycker (

Facilities & Environment

WCAIR ( offers a stimulating environment with world-leading scientists in basic parasitology and mode-of-action studies as well as drug discovery, evidenced by over 55 papers published in the last three years, many in top ranking journals ( There is a very interactive and open culture within WCAIR, with many collaborations between the different groups. There are also many opportunities for sharing and exchanging ideas such as weekly seminars, pizza lunches, 6-monthly symposia and an annual retreat.

We have outstanding facilities to study parasite biology, including state-of-the-art BSL3 laboratories (for in vitro and in vivo studies), single-cell RNAseq equipment, a world-class proteomics facility, advanced high-content screening systems, large compound libraries, advanced liquid handling robotics, etc. You can go on a virtual visit of our labs here: and further details for School of Life Sciences facilities can be found here:

The University's statement on the use of animals in research can be found here:

The University of Dundee is one of the leading universities in Europe for research in Life Sciences. In the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality in UK higher education institutions – REF2014 – Dundee was ranked the top University in Biological Sciences. More recent surveys also place Dundee high in their rankings: the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019 for Biomedical and Health Sciences Impact places Dundee 1st in the UK and Europe and 5th in the World as judged by ‘citations-per-paper’. Our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee, a forward-looking, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology, and close to both the train and bus stations.

The city of Dundee is scenically located on the banks of River Tay, with beautiful beaches nearby and the Scottish Highlands less than an hour away ( The city itself has plenty to offer with fantastic visitor attractions such as the striking V&A museum and the RRS Discovery ship, as well as theatres, diverse restaurants and a bustling nightlife. Edinburgh, with its stunning medieval centre and famous cultural festivals is also only an hour away (

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

We are following Government guidance on working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews will take place using a web conferencing system unless both the interview panel and the interview candidate are able to travel and meet for a face to face interview.