Current Opportunities

Three Graduate Student Openings in Experimental and Computational Biochemistry in the Thakor, Roussel and Demeler Research Groups

Three openings for graduate students in experimental and computational biochemistry is available in the Thakor, Roussel and Demeler Research Groups at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The project under consideration will involve joint supervision and close collaboration with Dr. Nehal Thakor, Marc Roussel, and Borries Demeler at the Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute (ARRTI), North West Biophysics Consortium (NBC), Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Selected candidate(s) will apply for RNA Innovation opportunity (https://rnainnovation.ca/program/applications/).

The projects to be completed falls under the general theme of experimental and computational biochemistry, biophysics, and cell biology, with applications to human health, which builds on the expertise in the Thakor, Demeler and Roussel laboratories. In broad terms, the aim of the projects to be explored by the graduate student is to investigate, at the molecular level, protein-RNA, protein-protein, and protein-small molecule interactions that are relevant to controlling mRNA translation and the associated roles in oncogenesis and tumor cell survival.

The ideal candidates will have previous research experience in one of the fields of experimental and computational biochemistry, biophysics or cell biology. Candidate 1: Mammalian tissue culture, cell biology, and molecular biology. RNA structure-function analysis, RNAseq & qRT-PCR and gene expression. Candidate 2: Experience in biochemical bench work (e.g. Western blot, qRT-PCR), but would have an interest (preferably backed up by experience) in quantitative work (e.g. measuring concentrations of cellular components). Candidate 3: Biochemical bench work experience (protein expression and purification). Some computational experience; Strength in Math, Computer science, Linux administration, C++/Python/PERL experience. Bioinformatics and molecular dynamics. The ideal candidates are motivated, creative researchers looking for a stimulating work environment and careful mentorship. Strong communication skills and a good work ethic are essential.

Please send a letter of motivation, a current curriculum vitae, and contact information for at least three references to nthakor@uleth.ca. The next round of applications to the graduate program at the University of Lethbridge is October 1, 2019, with the start date of January 1, 2019. RNA Innovation application deadline is September 10, 2019. We thank all interested candidates, however, we will contact selected candidates only. For further details, please do not hesitate to contact Drs. Thakor, Roussel or Demeler at nthakor@uleth.ca; demeler@uleth.ca; or roussel@uleth.ca.


M.Sc. Student Position Available to Study Host Defense Peptides in Plants

A M.Sc. position is available in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, to study host defense peptides (HDPs) in plants. The project focuses on evaluation of antimicrobial activity, synergistic and additive properties, and cytotoxicity of natural plant HDPs in vitro. These experiments will define natural plant HDPs that may be suitable for developing disease resistance in plants. Ideal candidate should have education and knowledge of biochemistry, microbiology and plant science with excellent academic standing. Experience in plant pathology and in vitro culture will be beneficial.

Interested students are encouraged to send a CV, unofficial university transcripts, and a brief statement of research interests to Dr. Dmytro Yevtushenko (dmytro.yevtushenko@uleth.ca). Applicants should have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (based on the uLethbridge 4.00 scale) on the last 20 graded university-level term courses. Applicants with GPA of 3.5 are offered the SGS Tuition Scholarship, which fully covers the Tuition Fees. International applicants must provide acceptable evidence of English Language Proficiency (ELP) for graduate students. Please find information on the application procedure at https://www.uleth.ca/future-student/graduate-studies/


AARTI Graduate Student (MSc/PhD) Opportunity: Investigating the role of DDX3X in hepatitis B virus infection Medicinal Biophysics Laboratory

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global issue with ~2 billion infected cases and ~25O million chronic HBV (CHB) carriers, out of which ~1 million people die due to the end-stage liver disease. DDX3X, a host helicase, is known to influence replication of a number of viruses, including HBV. On the other hand, it also interacts with a host transcription factor Sp1 and modulates its activity. Sp1 is essential in HBV viral life cycle. We are currently looking for a highly motivated student to investigate interactions between DDX3X and Sp1 and to establish a functional relevance of this interaction in HBV life cycle.

The Medicinal Biophysics Laboratory, led by Dr. Trushar Patel, is a part of the Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute (ARRTI), one of the leading Canadian centers with focus on RNA-based research and training. ARRTI is home to eight groups with diverse research portfolios, who work in close collaborations and provide a solid platform for skills development and scientific training.

The newly established Medicinal Biophysics Laboratory has access to necessary infrastructure and expertise required for host-viral interaction program. The candidate will also have an opportunity to gain experience in virology with Dr. Carla Coffin at the University of Calgary.

Highly motivated candidates with solid background in molecular biology and biochemistry are advised to contact Dr. Trushar Patel. A cover letter, curriculum vitae—including names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of three professional references—and a copy of transcripts are required. Positions will remain open until filled.


Agriculture and AGRI-FOOD Canada

Multiple graduate student positions are available within the laboratories of Drs. Douglas Inglis and Wade Abbott at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Lethbridge Research Centre) in partnership with the University of Lethbridge (Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Biological Sciences). These positions will focus on developing and validating microbial delivery systems for innovations in intestinal health and food safety. The project will focus on intestinal microbial community structure and function, bioengineering of carbohydrate metabolism and protein secretion, mitigation of enteric pathogens in vivo, and host immune-modulation. Advanced training of highly qualified personnel is stressed, and students will work within a multi-disciplinary team of researchers including experts in classical and molecular microbiology, veterinary medicine, human medicine, immunology, pathology, epidemiology, and the development and use of animal models within a ‘One Health’ framework. The successful candidates will be trained in areas of bacterial bioengineering, anaerobic and microaerobic microbiology, molecular microbiology, protein biochemistry, immunology, bioinformatics, and / or the utilization of animal models. Students will have access to advanced research instrumentation, laboratory and animal facilities, and highly trained technical staff. Examples of research animal infrastructure available include containment level 2 small and large animal (rodents, rabbits, chickens, pigs, sheep, cattle) facilities, small and large animal surgical and necropsy suites, a germ-free / gnotobiotic facility, and livestock production facilities.

Performing research in a federal government facility in partnership with the University of Lethbridge exposes students to future career opportunities at the interface of academia, industry, and government. This represents a unique training opportunity for graduate students interested in pursuing a career in human, veterinary, biomedical, and / or agricultural research. Although all technical training will be provided, students with research experience in molecular microbiology, bioengineering, and / or immunology are particularly encouraged to apply.

The fellowship positions available offer a competitive compensation package for the duration of the degree.

If interested please contact Dr. Doug Inglis at (403) 317-3355 or Douglas.Inglis@agr.gc.ca, or Dr. Wade Abbott (403) 317-3443 or Wade.Abbott@agr.gc.ca.