ESR12: In vitro and in vivo characterization of viral pathogens

April 27 2017
Life Sciences, Biology
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Early Stage Researchers in HONOURs

HONOURs is an Innovative Training Network (No: 721367) on host switching pathogens, infectious outbreaks and zoonosis: There are 15 positions for Early Stage Researchers (ESR) at the interface of veterinary and human health, virology, biostatistics, and pathogen discovery, and we are looking for highly motivated and talented students with a MSc degree in Life Sciences who are interested in viruses and infectious diseases. We offer challenging research projects to lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis) at high profile universities, research institutions and companies, located in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The framework of the network, the research projects, and the application form to apply for the ESR positions are presented at the HONOURs website: Recruitment has started on 19th of July 2017.

ESR12: In vitro and in vivo characterization of viral pathogens
Host Institute: FLI, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Germany

The work of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) focusses on farm animal health and welfare and on the protection of humans from zoonoses. The FLI is a federal research institute and independent higher federal authority under the Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. At present, the FLI has approximately 900 employees in eleven institutes. The Institute of Diagnostic Virology (IVD) studies important viral diseases of animals, special attention is given to notifiable diseases and zoonoses. Within the IVD, laboratories and animal stables of BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-3+ are available as well as modern equipment for molecular diagnostics and next-generation sequencing. The FLI is full of possibilities for talented individuals that are looking for a place where they can excel.

Project description: The ESR will be part of the viral pathogenesis group within the Institute of Diagnostic Virology. As demonstrated for Schmallenberg virus or the novel zoonotic bornavirus (VSBV-1), an epidemiologic assessment or virus shedding and transmission data form the basis for a subsequent risk assessment and suitable countermeasures. Usually, virus isolates are obtained by cell- or egg-culture. However, for many new viruses no suitable culture system is immediately available. In these cases, direct target or model animal inoculation is the alternative first step to promote virus replication. In vivo characterization also aims at the determination of the disease course and pathology associated with the infection. The ESR will establish and optimize a workflow for propagation and adaptation of viruses for further characterization. In each case, work will start with the selection of potentially suitable cell cultures from the collection of cell cultures in veterinary medicine at the FLI (>1250 different cell lines). This will be also expanded by the use of novel cell culture systems like stem cells and knock-out cell lines made by CRISPR/Cas-technology. This knowledge base will be the starting point for the selection of suitable species for the necessary animal experiments. Beside the experimental inoculation of livestock like pigs, sheep, cattle, a special focus will be on knock-out mice or reservoir hosts like bank voles as a useful alternative animal model. The ESR will conduct the planned in vitro and in vivo experiments with both, model viruses and with viruses identified in the HONOURs network.

HONOURs is looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher with a flexible, pro-active team spirit and a recent MSc degree (within the first four years after graduation) in the field of veterinary science, virology or life sciences. Interest and experience in infectious diseases and cell culture is an advantage. Proficiency in English speaking, reading, and writing is a requirement. The applicant should not have obtained her/his MSc degree in Germany (mobility rule EU). Read the further requirements at

Supervisor: Martin Beer and Kerstin Wernike; Duration: 36 months; Doctoral defence at the University of Munich (LMU) or the University of Greifswald. Planned secondments: MSD-Animal Health (private sector; The Netherlands) and EDI-IVI (governmental sector; Switzerland).

All applications proceed through the on-line recruitment portal:

Further Information:, subject: HONOURs-ESR12

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

Similar jobs

Similar jobs