A genomic approach to detect, monitor and track the emergence of anthelmintic drug resistance in Human Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH)

Job ID: UBritishColumbia.HelminthEvolResistance
Job date: 2016-10-30

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Job Description:

PhD Graduate Student Position: "A genomic approach to detect, monitor 
and track the emergence of anthelmintic drug resistance in Human Soil 
Transmitted Helminths (STH)".

The University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM is 
seeking a graduate student for a project using genomics approaches to 
investigate drug resistance in human soil transmitted helminths. The 
project will apply a number of deep amplicon sequencing and genome-wide 
scanning approaches that we have developed for animal parasites and 
apply them to track the emergence of benzimidazole drug resistance in 
human soil transmitted helminths.

What are we looking for an individual with a background in molecular 
ecology and/or population genomics and bioinformatics skills (or a keen 
desire and aptitude to learn) with a strong interest in applying their 
skills to a major human health problem in the developing world. The 
balance of specific expertise will be considered on a case-by-case 
basis. The preferred candidate needs to be highly motivated, 
enthusiastic and good team player with excellent communication skills. 
The work will be predominantly laboratory based but will involve working 
with collaborators in endemic regions with the potential fro some field 
work for the appropriate candidate.

The Project: There are currently 1.5 billion people infected worldwide 
with soil-transmitted helminths; roundworms such as Ascaris, Trichuris 
and Hookworms. The World Health Organization is currently undertaking 
the largest mass drug administration (MDA) program in human history to 
control these important pathogens. This program is dependent on a single 
drug class (benzimidazoles such as albendazole and mebendazole) and 
there is now major concern about the emergence of drug resistance. This 
PhD project will undertake a number of genomic approaches to detect and 
monitor the emergence of drug resistance in communities undergoing mass 
drug administration programs in endemic regions (including Ethiopia, 
Tanzania and Brazil).

What we offer: The graduate student will be co-supervised by Dr John 
Gilleard, Professor of Parasitology (http://www.ucalgary.ca/jsgilleard/ 
) and Dr Sam Yeaman, AIHS chair in Computational Biology 
(http://yeamanlab.weebly.com ) at the University of Calgary. They will 
be part of a large interdisciplinary research group focussed on the 
study of anthelmintic drug resistance in parasites. The graduate student 
will also be a member of the NSERC-CREATE Host-parasite Interactions 
(HPI) graduate program which offers outstanding opportunities to 
undertake professional development and community outreach activities 
(see http://www.ucalgary.ca/hpi/).

UCVM is a new and dynamic veterinary faculty in Western Canada that has 
a strong commitment to comparative medicine and One Health research. 
UCVM is co-located with the Cummings School of Medicine providing an  
outstanding infrastructure and academic environment and fostering 
collaborative researchbetween human and animal health . Descriptions of 
the Faculty and its departments can be found on the UCVM website 
(www.vet.ucalgary.ca). Calgary is a vibrant, multicultural city with a 
population of just over a million people. It is located near the Rocky 
Mountains, Banff National Park and Lake Louise, and offers an enormous 
opportunity for outdoor activities both in winter and summer.

The salary will be commensurate with the level of education and 
experience. For additional information and informal enquiries please 
contact Dr John Gilleard (jsgillea@ucalgary.ca). Interested individuals 
should submit a current curriculum vitae and an outline of research 
interests along with the names of three referees to:

Dr John Gilleard. email: jsgillea@ucalgary.ca. Phone +1 (403) 210 6327.

Research Group website: http://www.ucalgary.ca/jsgilleard/

Review of applications will start ASAP and will be ongoing until a 
suitable candidate is identified.

yeaman@zoology.ubc.ca


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