A full-time research scientist position is available in Prof Luke Alphey’s group at The Pirbright Institute to support a EU horizon 2020 grant “Novel biocontrol agents for insect pests from neuroendocrinology” (Reference: 16P-56).
The holder of this position will focus on translational synthetic biology – in vivo applications and analysis through the expression of selected neuropeptides in transgenic insects. The principal model organism is the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, a small, easily reared, short-generation-time insect of considerable economic importance. We aim to extend the current state of the art by engineering conditional non-cell-autonomous phenotypes based on expression of selected neuropeptides. At first we are aiming for conditional lethality, for potential use in ‘sterile-male’ genetic control systems (see Alphey, Ann Rev Ent 2014 59:205-224); later we will engineer other behavioural and physiological phenotypes, based on emerging data from other consortium members regarding specific neuropeptides. Though the primary purpose is applied, the development of conditional-expression systems for selected neuropeptides in relevant pest insects will also provide a powerful tool for improving our understanding of these key signalling molecules.
Please see the attached file for more information and apply through The Pirbright Institute’s website: http://www.pirbright.ac.uk/