Posdoc - Postdoctoral Fellow: Targeting Immuno-regulatory Signals in T-cells for Establishing Gut Im

Worcester, MA, US
Oct 09, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
The Postdoctoral Program is designed for true investigational and experimental research. Participants will be mentored by renowned industry scientists and collaborators at AbbVie and focused on delivering cutting-edge advancements in Discovery, Development Sciences and BioPharma. The enriching training program offers a balance of structured learning and work experience which fosters a learning environment to advance individual development with accessibility to high-level knowledge building across the drug development continuum.To be successful, we need outstanding individuals willing to challenge themselves to find the best solutions for our patients. The AbbVie Postdoc program is one way we are doing just that. This assignment is expected to be for two years minimally and no more than three years.


IBD is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gut affecting millions of people worldwide. Several studies over the past decade using mouse models of colitis and human IBD samples have established the central role for T cells in induction and regulation of intestinal inflammation. In IBD patients, compromised intestinal epithelial barrier integrity can result in aberrant T cell activation and differentiation into memory T cells that have the capacity to reside within the mucosal tissue, referred to as tissue resident memory T cells (TRM). It is thought that these non-recirculating TRM can be reactivated locally in the tissue to sustain the type of chronic inflammation that is observed in IBD. Understanding how inflammatory TRM T cell responses can be dampened to restore immune homeostasis in the gut may offer important insight toward the development of next generation therapies for human IBD.

Scientific Focus:

The study results in biology that will help to identify novel mechanisms for targeting T cells for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

1) Restoring the balance between pathogenic TRM and suppressive TREG responses in disease will require a deeper understanding of how to identify these T cell subsets and what signals control their effector function upon recall. The goal of the post-doctoral research will be to find unique surface markers and pathways that identify subsets of T cells that are pathogenic but spare T cells that are immune-regulatory or important for intestinal homeostasis. The candidate will be responsible for using state of the art technologies such as mass cytometry (Cytof), laser capture microdissection, and single cell RNA sequencing to identity pathogenic T cells subsets in our mouse models of IBD and human IBD samples.

2) To better understand the signals that regulate TRM responses in vivo, it is important that we gain a deeper understanding of the contribution of TRM in our current models of IBD, and develop models in-house to more precisely model TRM recall responses within the intestine. Using established methods, the candidate will determine the relative contribution of TRM vs circulating T cells in our mouse models of IBD.

3) TREG cells from IBD patients may be impaired in their ability to suppress pathogenic TRM responses. The candidate will explore the use of novel technologies/methods to determine if bolstering TREGS in the gut can suppress pathogenic TRM cells responses in IBD.

Key Responsibilities Include :

As a technical expert you will investigate, identify, develop and optimize new methods/ techniques to address critical project needs. while continuously seeking to improve existing laboratory methods and processes and by demonstrating mastery of a broad range of experimental techniques, and methods of data analysis.
  • Independently design, execute and interpret critical experiments to answer scientific questions.
  • Understand the broad objectives of the project as well as their role in achieving those objectives, and modify experimental plan when required, to respond.
  • Learn, understand and master new experimental techniques.
  • Innovate and implement new experimental protocols.
  • Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in his/her field.
  • Set and meet experimental timelines.
  • Effectively organize and present scientific plans and data.
  • Contribute to writing and conceptual framework of publications, presentations, and patents.
  • Routinely read and apply relevant scientific literature. Impact projects mostly through lab and/or pilot plant based activities where applicable.
  • Publish and disseminate data via external conferences and peer-reviewed publications

  • Successful completion and defense of a PhD in Immunology
  • Research background in mucosal immunology, memory T cells(TRM), tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) and/or regulatory T cells (TREGS)
  • Minimum graduate school GPA 3.0; 3.5 preferred.
  • Graduate of accredited and nationally ranked university
  • Record of publication in a prestigious journal(s)Delete
  • Excellent communication, leadership, and project management skills. Demonstrated scientific writing skills and strong verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently design and execute experiments, interpret data, and identify appropriate follow-up strategies.
  • Proven track record of teamwork, adaptability, innovation, initiative, and integrity. Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environment
  • Ability to multitask and work within timelines
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Research background in the cellular and molecular pathways regulating T cells responses during infection or autoimmunity
  • Working experience with in vivo mouse colitis models and isolation of T cells from the intestine
  • Working knowledge of in vitro T cell proliferation and differentiation/polarization assays, and mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLR) using antigen presenting cells and T cells
  • Working knowledge of T cell adoptive transfer models
  • Working knowledge of primary T cell retroviral or lentiviral transduction

    Experience with multi-color flow cytometry and training in molecular biology techniques such as Western blot, immunoprecipitation, ELISA
  • Key Leadership Competencies:
  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with partners outside of the immediate team to enable higher performance
  • Learns fast, grasps the "essence" and can change course quickly where indicated
  • Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status quo
  • Creates a learning environment, open to suggestions and experimentation to drive the science in the field of interest
  • Embraces the ideas of others, nurtures innovation and manages innovation to reality

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