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  • Post-doctoral Research Fellowship: Biopharming Research Unit

    A URC-funded post-doctoral research fellowship position is available in the Biopharming Research Unit (BRU) in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UCT from 1 May 2021. The award will be awarded for one year and is renewable for a second year subject to progress approval. The value of the Fellowship is R205 000 (tax free) per annum and carries no fringe benefits. An additional R15 000 is available per year for conference attendance/travel on submission of motivation.

    Project background

    The main focus of the BRU is the development of candidate vaccines and diagnostics in plants for animal and human health. The BRU currently has a project on the development of a DNA vaccine and the expression and optimisation of chimaeric antibodies and their expression in quail eggs and plants. Products will be expressed in quail eggs and plants and those with potential will be purified and tested for their functionality.

    PDRF requirements

    The PDRF will be expected to become familiar with the project subject through reading published literature and will be encouraged to contribute new ideas/approaches that could be implemented to strengthen the project. They will be required to carry out experimental work, analyse data, write grant proposals, animal ethics, risk assessments and write up results for publication. The PDRF will take an active role in lab meetings, as well as share some lab running responsibilities. There is also potential opportunity for the successful incumbent to co-supervise a postgraduate student (Hons or MSc) working in the BRU.

    Specific skills required

    • Experience in basic molecular biology techniques including DNA isolation and manipulation, PCR, protein expression and analysis is required
    • Experience in transient expression of proteins in plants using Agrobacterium-mediated infiltration techniques would be an advantage
    • Experience in protein purification would be an advantage

    Conditions of the Post-doctoral Research Fellowship

    • Candidates must have obtained a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or a related field within the last 5 years (or evidence of a PhD submitted and under examination).
    • Candidates must not have previously held a full-time permanent professional or academic position.
    • The successful incumbent will be required to comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures and practises for the postdoctoral sector.

    Application procedure

    Please send a letter of application stating areas of expertise and research interests, a full CV, copies of academic transcripts, and the names of two referees to Dr Ann Meyers ( by 15 April 2021. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications, change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all.

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