Assistant Project Scientist – Kelesidis immunopathogenesis of infectious diseases
Department: Medicine
Position available: Immediately
Length of position: Full time, 2 year-funded position by NIH, California State, Industry
Novel therapeutic approaches to treat viral infections including HIV and COVID-19
Overview: The pandemic COVID-19 emphasized the need to develop novel therapeutic strategies to combat morbidity and mortality from viral infections. The Kelesidis laboratory focuses on novel antioxidants that target increased bioactive lipids and altered mitochondria to attenuate increased systemic inflammation, immune dysfunction and end organ disease in chronic HIV infection. Importantly these antioxidants were also recently shown to attenuate SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and associated inflammatory responses in lung cells. The lab uses in vitro cell culture models, ex vivo models
of atherogenesis and gut explants to dissect mechanisms how the cross talk between bioactive lipids, immune, endothelial and epithelial cells drive atherogenesis and how novel therapeutic agents attenuate aberrant proinflammatory cellular pathways. The lab also uses a preclinical humanized mouse model of chronic treated HIV infection to study in vivo how novel therapies attenuate end organ disease. Recent areas of research include studies of pathogenesis of COVID-19 using preclinical in vitro and animal models of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • A PhD is required. Candidates with a strong background in molecular immunology and/or virology and or related disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Preferred qualifications: Familiar with techniques such as multi-color flow cytometry, sterile technique for cell culture with BSL-2+ practices, ELISA, qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence, Western Blot and molecular biology techniques. Experience in virology research is preferred but is not required.
  • Experience with animal procedures (phlebotomy, injections, tissue dissections) is preferred but is not required.
  • The candidate should be comfortable working with BSL2+ biospecimens including biospecimens (cells, plasma) from patients with COVID-19 and/or HIV. The individual will learn new laboratory procedures and techniques as needed.
Responsibilities – Ideal candidates will be expected to:
  • Be fully independent (or require minimal training/supervision) in performing essential experimental techniques for the laboratory such as cell culture, immunoassays (ELISA, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence)
  • Lead existing research projects with regards to design, execution and analysis of experiments, guidance of technicians to complete assigned work within specific timeframe.
  • Establish independent research projects, present at scientific meetings, write peer-reviewed publications
  • Demonstrate ability and desire to develop grantsmanship skills for the preparation of competitive funding proposals
  • Form part of multidisciplinary research collaborations
  • Contribute to training/supervision of undergraduate students and technicians in the lab
  • Oversee the maintenance of the laboratory (including maintenance of equipment for tissue culture (incubators, centrifuges, freezers, liquid nitrogen) and inventorying/ordering/stocking of supplies (disposables, medium, cell lines).

Dr. Theodoros Kelesidis, MD, PhD
Associate Professor in Department of Medicine