Join us!

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. 

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PhD positions

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 .

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Postdoctoral positions and fellowships

A number of postdoc fellowships and positions are currently available. Adverts will remain open until filled. Subject areas as advertised are indicative. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss possible projects. Consider how a genetic screen that opens up a new area of biology can become a springboard for starting your own lab!

Apply here (computational project)

Apply here (wet lab project, for example single cell)

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Research Assistant in Malaria Molecular Biology

We are looking for a skilled research assistant (called research engineer in Sweden) to work closely with other members of the team to perform an important genetic screen in a malaria parasite infecting rodents. You will assist members of the research group in identifying gene function for malaria parasite transmission to mosquitoes. The work includes molecular cloning and engineering of DNA, preparation of DNA and RNA sequencing libraries, as well as culture and dissection of mosquitoes. You will also perform work to genetically alter malaria parasites. You will help maintain order and safety of the laboratory. The post is planned for 1 year in the first instance.

Apply here (Research Assistant)

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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.