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Postdoctoral Fellow - Immunology and Microbiology

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

About the position

Two postdoctoral positions are available in the Molecular Signaling Section (MSS) of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology (LMI) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, MD.

The MSS is interested in understanding how chemokines coordinate leukocyte trafficking in the context of homeostasis, pathologic inflammation, and host defense. In this regard, we have recently discovered that membrane anionic phospholipids constitute a third class of high affinity binding site for chemokines (the other two classes being G protein-coupled chemokine receptors and glycosaminoglycans). In particular, we have found that chemokine binding to cardiolipin and phosphatidylserine mediates direct killing of bacteria and apoptotic cell clearance by phagocytes, respectively.

We seek creative and motivated postdoctoral fellows to investigate the immunological and translational implications of these novel chemokine-lipid interactions in the context of either of the two projects below:

Chemokine-cardiolipin interactions in microbial killing by chemokines: Our main goals in this project are to optimize and engineer chemokines as effective antimicrobial therapies and to characterize the role of endogenous chemokines in antimicrobial host defense as well as shaping of the microbiome.

Chemokine-phosphatidylserine interactions in apoptotic cell clearance and regulation of cell migration by chemokines: The main goals of this project are to define the role of the chemokine system in apoptotic cell clearance and the regulation of leukocyte chemotactic activity by phosphatidylserine-bound chemokines.

The positions are available immediately, and fully funded for the next two years with the possibility of renewal. Annual stipends start at $64,450 commensurate with experience according to the NIH Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award and Visiting Fellow scale. Health coverage will be provided.

Apply for this vacancy

What you'll need to apply

To apply, send a cover letter, CV including bibliography, and the contact information for three references to:

Contact name

Sergio Pontejo


Candidates must have obtained an M.D. and/or Ph.D. degree within the past two years.

Candidates for the project on antimicrobial chemokines (chemokine-cardiolipin interactions) should have a strong background in microbiology and protein biochemistry, and experience in protein purification techniques.

Candidates for the project on apoptotic cell clearance (chemokine-phosphatidylserine interactions) should have a strong background in immunology and manipulation of the laboratory mouse, as well as experience in cell-based assays and cell culture techniques. Experience with isolation and analysis of extracellular vesicles is desirable but not required.

Additional Information

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs and encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.