University of Guelph
Description of the Area/Topic of Research:
The Ricker lab at the University of Guelph is currently recruiting 1 PhD student and 1 post-doctoral fellow or research associate, in collaboration with Dr. Hany Anany (AAFC), for projects recently funded through the Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC) and Agriculture-AgriFood Canada (AAFC).
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the largest human health concerns of this generation, as the continued emergence of resistance threatens to interfere with our ability to treat and prevent human infectious diseases. Combating AMR requires a One Health approach, combining efforts at limiting resistance emergence and spread within human, animal and environmental reservoirs.
We are currently seeking two candidates (a PhD student and a postdoctoral fellow) for a 4-year project investigating the use of phage to control Salmonella within the poultry industry. The successful candidates will meet or exceed the minimum academic requirements for entry to a PhD program, have a relevant publication record appropriate to their current career stage, and have previous experience working with phage. An interest in the combination of microbiology techniques and bioinformatic approaches is essential. Experience in metagenomics, phage biology, phage-host interactions, designing and performing bacterial challenge studies and/or viromics are all considered strong assets. Work will be performed at both the University of Guelph and AAFC in Guelph under joint supervision of Drs. Ricker and Anany.
Funding for this project is pending final confirmation and a start date of May 1, 2024 is preferred but is negotiable.
Description of Lab/Group/Area: Dr Ricker is an early career researcher recruited to the University of Guelph through the Food from Thought program for her expertise in microbial community analysis and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in agriculture. Her developing research program focuses on AMR prevalence in bacterial communities, horizontal gene transfer mechanisms, promotion of healthy gut microbial communities, and the impact of mitigation strategies on the emergence, persistence, and dissemination of AMR and pathogens in a One Health framework.
Dr. Anany is a Bacteriophage Research Scientist at the Guelph Research and Development Center (GRDC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In addition, he serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Food Science Department, University of Guelph. His research program focuses on understanding phage biology and its interaction with bacterial hosts for taxonomical and application purposes throughout the food supply chain. Dr. Anany’s research program also extends to exploring the composition and dynamics of the phageome /virome throughout the food supply chain, aiming to deepen our understanding of these complex viral communities and their role in food safety.
General Outline of Duties: Screening and testing of phage cocktails in model systems (C. elegans), and in live birds. Assessment of bacterial community changes and impacts on specific pathogen interactions. Development of computational analysis pipelines for metagenomic bacterial and viral community data, literature review and critical analysis, experimental design, data management and analysis, maintenance of data deposition records and documentation, manuscript preparation will be expected for both candidates. Assistance with supervision will also be expected of the PhD student in later years of their program.
The PhD candidate will have a MSc degree in biological science or a similar field and preferably have documented experience in phage research and an interest in computational approaches/bioinformatics.
- Cover Letter
- Unofficial transcripts
- Writing Sample
- Publications (if applicable)
Special Instructions: The Ricker and Anany labs strongly support diversity in science and applicants from under-represented racial, cultural, gender-identity, physical ability and neurological spectrums are particularly encouraged to apply. All applicants are encouraged to reach out if they require any accommodations specifically during the interview process to ensure a fair and equitable assessment. Applications can be received immediately; however, evaluation of the applications will not begin until February 12th, 2024 in order to allow for a diversity of applicants to be evaluated. Consideration will continue until a suitable applicant has been found for each position.