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  • Posted: Oct 10, 2022
    Deadline: Oct 21, 2022
  • Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, icipe was established in 1970, to address this very paradox of insects and accompanying challenges. The Centre’s mission is to use insect science for sustainable development, to ensure food security and improve the overall health of communities in Africa by addressing the interlinked problems of poverty, poor health, lo...
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    Postdoctoral Fellow - SymbioVector (SMBV) Project

    Overall purpose of the job

    The SymbioVector Postdoctoral Fellow will manage research activities within the group and assist in overseeing and designing advanced experiments. He/she will work directly with the Principal Investigator and play a leading role in developing a research program to advance the use of microbial symbionts for the control of vector borne diseases. This includes overseeing workflow and productivity of lab personnel and providing training to them on specific techniques as necessary. The Post doc will be responsible for data analysis, preparation of manuscripts, and presenting research findings through various forums. He/she must demonstrate the ability to analyze and present data in professional format and to be able to independently prepare manuscripts, reports, applications for approvals (research,import / export) as well as contribute to grant writing. The Post Doc will also oversee community engagement activities and contribute to the development of protocols for long-term Microsporidia MB colony infection maintenance. In addition, the Post doc will oversee the usage of a MALDI-TOF biotyper for high-throughput screening of mosquitoes for Microsporidia MB.

    Specific Duties

    • To develop and carry out general molecular and MALDI-TOF techniques to quantify Microsporidia MB in mosquito populations.
    • To identify environmental factors involved in Microsporidia MB transmission and work with Data Management Unit to develop experimental data repository and template data entry spreadsheets.
    • To determine the conditions required (temperature, humidity, microbiota, number of mosquitoes, rates of infection, mating patterns) for the long-term maintenance of a Microsporidia MB infected mosquito colony.
    • To establish long term microsporidia infected colonies.
    • To promote and establish long collaborative linkages with national, regional and international institutions in the relevant fields of research.
    • To oversee community engagement activities of the SymbioVector project.
    • To provide training to lab personnel on specific techniques (molecular biology and bioinformatics, MALDI-TOF) as well as to develop and maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for these
    • specific techniques.
    • Maintain and where necessary coordinate the distribution of biological resources (e.g. DNA sequence databases, strains, bacteria etc.)
    • To actively seek and secure external support for the activities, including resources to develop and grow a personal research portfolio.
    • To supervise Master and PhD students.
    • To write, edit, correct and review manuscripts, reviews, proposal, or any other scientific document in his field.


    • PhD in Molecular Biology ideally combined with Symbiosis and Entomology or related field.
    • Experience gained in molecular biology in either a research organization or university.
    • At least 3 years’ experience working in a research laboratory.
    • Previous experience working with mosquitoes, insect pathogens / symbionts / insect population cages / MALDI-TOF is an added advantage.
    • At least two peer-reviewed papers submitted per year.
    • Contribute to at least 3 concepts/proposals.
    • Lead in development of at least 2 concept/proposal.
    • Contributes to internal and external relations with stakeholders in relation to the scope of their activities.

    Core Competencies

    • Develop protocols to accurately quantify changes in Microsporidia MB in screen house mosquito populations.
    • Contribute to development of protocol and workflow for high throughput screening of mosquitoes using MALDI-TOF.
    • Contribute substantially to development of a protocol for long term infected colony rearing.
    • Established what environmental conditions that are required for efficient transmission of Microsporidia MB in semi-field.
    • Successfully implement effective community engagement for the SymbioVector project.
    • Develop Microsporidia MB dissemination strategies, possibly involving cultured Microsporidia MB.
    • Develop and submit reports and manuscripts on Microsporidia MB transmission and key required factors for maximizing transmission and maintaining high levels of infection in screen house mosquito populations.
    • Contribute to at least 3 concepts/proposals.
    • At least 2 peer-reviewed papers submitted per year.
    • Lead in development of at least 2 concepts / proposals.
    • Mentor at least 1 PhD and 2 Masters students

    Method of Application

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