HIV in Mozambique: co-infections and immune activation

REF: PD 21
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Hours of work:
37.5 hours per week (excluding lunch hours)
Annual leave:
24 days per annum plus statutory days
C/ Villarroel 170, 08036 BARCELONA
Accountable to:
Dra. Denise Naniche
Up to 3 years, by IDIBAPS
38.000 € plus housing facilities


Job Summary

1. A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Dra. Denise Naniche. The position involves working with a team of scientists studying two aspects of HIV-infection in Mozambique: 1) impact of immune activation on response to malaria treatment in HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral treatment, and 2) immune activation in patients with acute HIV infection. The programme is based on work published in (HIV Medicine (2008, 9:757-64) AIDS (2010, 24: 603–608) and in press in Plos One, 2011.


  1. Previous research has shown that co-infections greatly impact immune activation and T-cell subpopulations and this may impact response to antiretrovirals. HIV-induced immune activation may also impact the treatment of malaria.
  2. Previous research has identified a high prevalence of acute HIV infection in Manhiça, Mozambique (the area where our research is conducted). The severity of acute HIV infection may impact immune activation and prognosis of HIV/AIDS progression.

Briefly, the current lines of research focus on the interplay between immune activation and co-infections and how they affect 1) pathogenesis of acute HIV infection, 2) response to antiretroviral treatment and treatment of co-infections and 3) maternal and reproductive health. Because sub Saharan African bears the burden of over 65% of worldwide HIV infections, our program concentrates on HIV/AIDS in developing regions of the world and specifically Mozambique, a country representative of a sub Saharan African country.

The purpose of this programme of work will be to investigate 1) impact of immune activation on response to malaria treatment in HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral treatment, and 2) immune activation in patients with acute HIV infection. The research will be conducted between Barcelona, Spain and Manhiça, Mozambique in collaboration with several sites in sub Saharan Africa (Malawi, Zambia) and several European institutions (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, and Prince Leopold School of Tropical Medicine, Belgium).

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

  • Immune assays (ELISA etc)
  • Flow cytometry
  • PCR
  • Microbiology
  • Epidemiologic methodology and biostatistics

Main Duties

To conduct research focused on immune activation and co-infections in a sub Saharan African population. The post-doc will participate in research projects conducted in Manhiça, Mozambique. Participation in the design and development of the projects will include experimental work but also epidemiological skills and data analysis.

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


Knowledge and Qualifications
  • Undergraduate degree in a life science discipline.
  • PhD in an appropriate life science discipline
  • Accredited knowledge and skills in immunology, molecular biology, cellular biology and epidemiology.
  • Proficiency in English language.
  • Availability for short stays in Manhiça, Mozambique (3-4 months)
  • Research stay outside the country of residence.
  • Publications in high impact factor peer reviewed journals.
  • It is expected a thorough background immunology, molecular biology, cellular biology and epidemiology. In addition, it will be important to show ability to develop ideas logically and design experiments to test hypotheses, ability to modify and apply new methods to advance a project, and to analyse and write up data for presentations and publications.
  • The post-doc should have a personal resume showing ability to present complex information effectively to a range of audiences and to write effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to direct junior members of the laboratory in simple laboratory procedures
Experience and Personal Qualities
  • Experience of working in a research environment and commitment to high quality research
  • Experience in multi-disciplinary working and clear interest in working as part of the team. All the members of the team will collaborate in this research project.
  • Ability to work independently and to use own initiative when required.
(Read eligibility criteria)