Immunopathogenesis of HIV infection and HIV vaccine development

REF: PhD 08
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Hours of work:
37.5 hours per week (exluding lunch hours)
Annual leave:
24 days per annum plus statutory days
Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona
Accountable to:
Professor José M Gatell
Up to 3 years, by IDIBAPS
38.000 € plus housing facilities


Job summary

1. A postdoctoral position is available in Professor José M Gatell laboratory. The position involves working wit a team of scientists studying Immunopathogenesis of HIV infection and HIV vaccine development.

The programme is a continuation of work recently published in J Infect Dis 2005;191:1680-1685, which has provided insights about the relevance of dendritic cells in immunopathogenesis of HIV infection and open the opportunity of developing a new generation of therapeutic vaccines against HIV infection based on dendritic cell used as adjuvant

Briefly, Professor Gatell group has a wide experience in HIV research, including therapeutic and preventive vaccine development and trials, immune reconstitution and pathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection.

The final purpose of this programme will be to develop new inmunogens against HIV infection, to investigate the interaction of pre-clinical immunogens with myeloid dendritic cells, and to assess the effectiveness of such immunogens to induce HIV-specific immune responses.

2. The project is likely to involve some or all of the following techniques:

  • viral cultures in standard and GMP conditions
  • cell cultures both in human and murine cells
  • molecular biology (PCR, real-time PCR, cloning and sequencing of virus, and interpretation of phylogenetics trees)
  • characterization of specific antigens and antibodies

Main Duties

To conduct research investigating new immunogens against HIV infection. Mainly, culture of autologous virus of HIV infected patients in GMP conditions and inactivated with different methods. These virus should be used as immunogens for in vitro studies in dendritic cells and for future therapeutic vaccines in pilot phase I trials.

Duties and Responsabilities

  • To contribute to the design and planning of experiments in relation to this project
  • To develop a thorough understanding of the research field and be involved in the intellectual decision making process required for successful completion of the project
  • To set up and run experiments in consultation with the Principal Investigator
  • To record, analyse and write up the results of experiments and ensure that laboratory notebooks are kept fully up to date as a formal record of the research
  • To prepare and present findings of research to the Principal Investigator and other members of the centre
  • To prepare progress reports on research
  • The post holder may be required to perform some limited teaching and/or supervision of other members of staff and/or students, under the guidance of the Principal Investigator
  • Responsible for ensuring that designated equipment is safe and maintained in good working order
  • As duties and responsibilities change, the job description will be reviewed and amended in consultation with the post holder
  • The post holder will carry out any other duties that are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, as requested by the Principal Investigator

Person specification

Knowledge and Qualifications
  • Undergraduate degree in a life science discipline
  • PhD in an appropiate life science discipline
  • Basic knowledge of Cell Based Medicinal Products EMEA regulations and quality control
  • Publications in high impact factor peer reviewed journals
  • Abilitity to develop ideas logically and design experiments to test hypotheses
  • Ability to modify and apply new methods to advance a project
  • Ability to analyse and write up data for presentations and publications
  • Ability to present complex information effectively to a range of audiences
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Record of delivering high quality research
  • Research skills in cell cultures, molecular biology and characterization of specific antigens and antibodies
  • Expertise in viral cultures
  • Ability to direct junior members of the laboratory in simple laboratory procedures

Experience of working in a research environment


Experience of multi-disciplinary working

Personal Qualities
  • Commitment to high quality research
  • Ability to work effectively as part of the team
  • Ability to work independently and to use own initiative when required
(Read eligibility criteria)