Join us!

May 2020: We are recruiting again for our new lab in the beautiful North:

We are always looking for talented and creative individuals who like to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. The transmission of malaria parasites to their mosquito vectors depends entirely on the sexual reproduction of the parasite in the mosquito midgut. Much of the underlying biology remains poorly understood. With the advent of genetic screening technology in the rodent model parasite Plasmodium berghei it has now become possible for the first time to screen systematically for essential parasite gene functions in transmission. 

PhD position

Driven individuals who want to develop a PhD project in the broad research areas listed below are encouraged to send a CV and cover letter explaining their motivation to oliver.billker@umu.se .

Postdoctoral positions and fellowships

A couple of postdoc fellowships and positions are still available. The formal applications process will start shortly.  If you want to know more, get in touch or just send a CV and cover letter explaining your motivation to oliver.billker@umu.se

Consider how a genetic screen that opens up a new area of biology can become a springboard for starting your own lab!

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Research Assistant for Insectary and Lab Management

We are looking for a skilled research assistant (called research engineer in Sweden) to look after our mosquitoes and animal model and manage the laboratory. The post is planned for 2 year in the first instance. Formal advert will follow soon. Get in touch for more info.

Projects

Projects shown here are examples of the type of work we like to do. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with oliver.billker@umu.se to discuss.

  1. Systematic identification of fertility genes in malaria parasites. Using our unique ability to carry out forward genetics screens (Bushell et al., Cell, 2017), you will develop assays to identify experimentally all parasite genes involved in specific aspects of male or female fertility, which is essential for parasite transmission to the vector.
  2. Mechanisms of Plasmodium sex determination and sexual stage differentiation. Starting from a list of candidate nucleic acid binding proteins which have already emerged from a genetic screen, you will use ChIP, single cells RNAseq and protein interaction studies to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of development in a divergent eukaryote downstream of the master regulator, transcription factor ap2-g (Sinha et al., Nature, 2014).
  3. Single Cell Biology of Malaria Transmission. Using single cell transcriptomics (scRNAseq, e.g. Reid et al., eLife, 2018), you will carry out an in-depth analysis of developmental mutants, using their unique transcriptional signatures to propose genetic networks and mechanisms of parasite development during transmission. You may visit collaborators in endemic countries for a comparative analysis of rodent and other animal models with parasites infecting humans.
  4. Evolution of sexual processes in a divergent eukaryote. You will exploit the position of malaria parasites in the tree of life to reveal the most conserved molecules in cellular processes involved in eukaryotic sexual reproduction (e.g. the axoneme, meiosis, gamete fusion), as well as discover some of the unique biology of apicomplexan parasites.