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Post-doctoral Researcher, APC Microbiome, & School Of Microbiology

University CollegeCork€39,130 - €46,442 per yearTemporary

2 Years, Fixed-Term, Whole-time Post

Position Summary

The Research Institute

APC Microbiome Ireland was formed in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland and in conjunction with key industry partners. It represents a seamless collaboration between UCC, Teagasc, Moorepark and CIT. It is widely recognised that our microbiome (community of bacteria/viruses and fungi that live in and on our bodies) plays an important role in human health and has become one of the most dynamic, complex and exciting areas of research in both food and pharmaceutical arenas. Over the last decade the APC has established itself as one of the leading global centres in gut microbiota research. The APC has made several landmark discoveries and has published over 3000 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, generating many journal covers and associated editorials. The APC comprises over 300 individuals, from the scientific PI’s (the APC Faculty) funded by the partner Institutions, the management team, and a dedicated group of research scientists, research assistants and postgraduate’s students.

The Role

The dairy fermentation industry is reliant on the application of robust starter cultures of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactococcus lactis. The most prominent opponent to successful fermentations is the presence of bacterial viruses called bacteriophages, or phages. The proposed project PHARM, is an ambitious project that aims to elucidate the specific nature of the saccharidic receptors recognised by Streptocococcus thermopilus phages through a combined genetic and biochemical approach. Furthermore, it is planned to derive the 3-dimensional structure of phage-encoded carbohydrate binding proteins to define their specific role and relative importance in the initial binding steps of a phage to its streptococcal host. The generated knowledge will allow tools to be developed for the rapid classification of dairy streptococcal strains and to link these to phage sensitivity predictions. Ultimately, this will allow the starter culture industry to provide rational strain selections, rotations or blends to the dairy industry, limiting phage proliferation in the fermentation environment. In turn, this will reduce the phage problem to manageable and predictable levels, reduce the amount of food waste and down-graded products thereby increasing food quality and security.

The Post-Doctoral Researcher would be expected to support the research activities of the Pharm project including execution of individual project goals and guidance of PhD student to ensure the timely execution of the project goals, while also contributing the communication of the research findings emanating from the research.

Qualifications and Experience Required

Candidates for the postdoctoral position should have a PhD in Molecular Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics or related fields. The expertise and relevant experience of candidates should be supported by evidence of peer-reviewed publications in reputable scientific journals.

Post Duration: 2 Years

Salary: €39,130- €46,442 p.a. (IUA Salary Scale)

Project: The sweet tooth of a bacterial virus: Unravelling Phage-Host Attachment and Recognition Modalities (PHARM) in the dairy bacterium Streptococcus thermophilus.

For an information package including further details of the post see Job ID: 050531.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Prof Jennifer Mahony, School of Microbiology Tel: + 353 (0) 21 4902730; Email:

The closing date for applications is Friday the 5th of November 2021

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