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Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Mathematical Modeling of Immunity to Dengue Infection and Illness

Be a part of the legacy: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program
Our Research Laboratories’ Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program aims to be a best-in-industry program for industrial postdoctoral researchers, designed to provide you with an academic focus in a commercial environment. With the resources, reach, and expertise of a large pharmaceutical company, postdoctoral researchers will be positioned to excel in an institution committed to breakthrough innovation in research and discovery. 
Position Overview:
As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Quantitative Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics, you will contribute to the study of dengue immunity. You will investigate the degree to which immune biomarkers are predictive of protection for dengue—a disease that sickens millions of people a year, and for which approximately 4 billion people are at risk. You will collaborate closely with a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the dengue disease area, including biology, pharmacology, and epidemiology.
Although there is evidence to support a connection between the presence of anti-dengue antibodies and protection from symptomatic dengue disease, there is no established biomarker widely accepted as a correlate of protection (i.e., a formally accepted predictive immune marker), either by the scientific community or regulatory agencies. The goal of this research project is to explore the utility of post-natural-infection anti-dengue antibody titers as a correlate of protection for symptomatic dengue disease. In this role you will use mathematical and statistical methods (such as the PoDBAY method, developed here at our company) to quantify the relationship between titers and probability of symptomatic dengue disease. That relationship can then be used to predict disease incidence rates, giving insight into things like vaccine efficacy, and a population’s vulnerability to disease outbreak. Your work will be published in peer reviewed journals, thus contributing to the scientific community’s understanding of correlates of protection for symptomatic dengue disease and potentially contributing to the development of dengue vaccines and therapeutics.
As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, you will work with a dedicated mentor and collaborate, both internally and externally, with experienced scientists. You will be expected to present your research at scientific conferences. There are possible opportunities for project related travel, depending on your interest and the needs of the project.
Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Exploring and analyzing internal and external datasets to develop an understanding of the connection between antibody titers and probability of symptomatic dengue disease (PoD). Incorporating the relationship between titers and PoD (if one exists) into a disease vulnerability framework, building a predictive model of dengue incidence in dengue-endemic populations. Investigating possible time dependency of the PoD relation—this may involve building a mechanistic or semi-mechanistic model describing within-host antibody dynamics. Compare findings across multiple data streams. Collaborating with both internal and external scientists to further the study of correlates of protection for symptomatic dengue disease. Publish results in peer-reviewed journals and present at scientific conferences.
Minimum education required:
  • Candidates must currently hold a PhD or will you have completed your PhD within the next year
Required experience and skills:
  • Candidates should have interest in the study of infectious disease, vaccines, and in the mathematical and statistical description of biological systems.
  • Educational background relating to mathematical biology, systems biology, applied mathematics and/or statistics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, pharmacometrics, relevant engineering discipline, computational biology/chemistry.
  • Experience in mathematical and/or statistical modeling of biological or related systems.
  • Proficiency in written and verbal communication.
  • Experience with mathematical computing using a coding or scripting language, examples include R, Python, Julia, C (++), MATLAB.
Preferred experience and skills:
  • Experience in building mechanistic mathematical models for biological systems, e.g., viral dynamics, infectious diseases, population dynamics, intracellular gene regulation networks, etc.
  • Skills in experimental design, mathematical problem solving, critical data analysis/interpretation, and statistics.
  • Basic knowledge related to immunology and/or virology.
  • Skills in at least one of the following: R, Matlab, Monolix, NONMEM, or a similar tool.
MRLpostdoc