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Job Opportunities: Multiple Postdoctoral Positions Open at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) – Durham, NC

Posted by on Monday, March 28, 2022 in Job Opportunities .

The Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI), part of the Duke University School of Medicine located in Durham, NC, is searching for highly-motivated postdoctoral associates to join our growing institute.

The DHVI is a vibrant research organization committed to improving the health of the global community by accelerating the pace of vaccine research through both basic and translational science, national and international collaboration efforts, resource-sharing, and various quality assurance programs that provide oversight to global laboratories participating in clinical vaccine trials. With numerous groundbreaking discoveries, our team of multidisciplinary investigators and staff has propelled DHVI to the forefront of vaccine development efforts for infectious diseases like HIV, Influenza, Coronavirus, Malaria, Ebola, Zika, Cytomegalovirus, and Tuberculosis.

Detailed postdoctoral associate positions at the DHVI are listed below. If interested, please fill out the application to the requisition number(s) on the Duke Employment website.

Postdoctoral Associate – Wiehe Lab

The Postdoctoral Associate will work independently to develop and apply computational biology methods to areas that include studying the antibody response in HIV or SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, identifying and further improving HIV and coronavirus antibodies for use as therapeutics, and designing immunogens for use as components in HIV and coronavirus vaccines. The multi-disciplinary approach to vaccine development at DHVI will afford the Postdoctoral Associate exposure to many areas of vaccine research with a multitude of opportunities to contribute computational biology methods and analysis to the efforts to fight the HIV and COVID19 pandemics. Under the guidance of the Principal Investigator, the candidate will be responsible for developing methodology, performing data analysis, designing and executing experiments, presenting the results at internal and external meetings, and drafting scientific publications. These studies will have a large impact on vaccines that are translated to first-in-humans clinical trials.

Postdoctoral Associate – Azoitei Lab

This Position is Majority Grant Funded

Research in the Azoitei lab is focused on two synergistic areas that are critical for the development of vaccines against highly infectious pathogens: 1) rational immunogen design for the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies and 2) determining the biophysical properties of antigens that lead to B cell activation and development for antibody secretion. For immunogen design, we employ a rational, structure-based approach that utilizes state of the art computational protein design algorithms (Rosetta) and high-throughput library screening on the surface of yeast and mammalian cells. We are currently developing vaccines against HIV, influenza and emergent coronaviruses. To study B cell signaling in response to antigens, we utilize molecular tools (fluorescent biosensors and optogenetic probes) to visualize and control the activity of key signaling molecules in live cell microscopy experiments. While the molecules involved in B cell activation are well characterized, little is known about how the subcellular localization, duration and intensity of their activities are shaped by the biophysical properties of different antigens. All our work benefits from collaborations with structural biologists, immunologists and virologists.

Candidates interested in any of the research areas of the lab are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. degree, with a strong background in structural biology, biochemistry, cell biology or immunology. Work in our lab involves computational modeling, molecular biology, protein engineering, recombinant protein expression and purification, high-throughput library screening, tissue culture and microscopy. Expertise with some of these techniques is required.

Postdoctoral Associate – Williams Lab

This Position is Majority Grant Funded

This position will work under the leadership of Dr. Williams to design and execute immune monitoring studies of candidate vaccines against infectious diseases in human clinical trials. Currently, we have a variety of HIV-1 vaccines in human clinical trials and are seeking a candidate who will be motivated and have the ability to work independently on these studies. Additionally, we have developing studies to understand B cell immunity to tumors and thus identify novel cancer immunotherapies in collaboration with researchers in the Duke Cancer Institute. This candidate will apply similar technologies used for immune monitoring of HIV-1 clinical trials in Cancer Immunology. Thus, we are seeking a Postdoctoral Associate who is enthusiastic and willing to undertake multiple projects that will improve our understanding of host immunity that govern HIV-1 vaccine development, and pursue Cancer Immunology studies that can identify novel immunotherapies against tumors.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should email CV, brief statement of research interests and names & contact information for three references to Dr. Wilton Williams at

Postdoctoral Associate – Saunders Lab

This Position is Fully Grant Funded

DHVI is seeking Postdoctoral Associates to join our team in developing vaccines for HIV and beta-coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2. We are seeking a highly motivated recent graduate to join our team involved in the assessment of Vaccine Induced HIV-1 Env Antibody Responses. The Duke Human Vaccine Institute is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental institute dedicated to the study of host-pathogen interactions that can be translated into biologics and vaccines. DHVI is composed of a team of highly interactive investigators that have expertise in mucosal and systemic immunology, virology, molecular and structural biology, computational biology, and animal medicine. With these expertises, the DHVI is working collaboratoratively to develop vaccines and countermeasures against pathogens like HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and influenza.

Postdoctoral Associate – Alam Lab

This Position is Fully Grant Funded

We are seeking a highly motivated recent PhD graduate to join our team to work on the development and characterization of immunogens targeting a key broadly neutralizing epitope on HIV-1 Envelope. The work will involve studies on the immunogenicity of structure-based immunogen designs in novel knock-in mouse models, subsequently leading to studies in non-human primates. The goal of the project is to develop immunogens to be tested in human clinical trials for the induction of neutralizing antibody responses against a key HIV-1 vaccine target. The position will allow the Fellow to interact with and be mentored by leading investigators in the field and acquire advanced training and skills to pursue a future career in immunological research.

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