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Immunology Catalyst postdoctoral training programme



 Immunology Catalyst postdoctoral training programme 

GSK has launched a novel research collaboration model – the Immunology Catalyst – designed to drive major breakthroughs in applied immunology and broaden scientific insight. 

What is the Immunology Catalyst? 

We have selected leading academic immunologists to join us at our world class R&D facility in Stevenage, UK, where they will work alongside GSK’s scientists while pursuing their own independent research programmes focused on basic immunology questions. They will have access to GSK’s technologies and research tools and, by connecting with our scientists, have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of drug discovery and translational research. Paul-Peter Tak, SVP immunoinflammation therapy area, GSK, is the programme sponsor. The Immunology Catalyst members are also supported by a network of leading immunologists at GSK and an external immunology board of world class immunologists including Professors Vijay Kuchroo, Jerry Nepom, Frank Nestle, Luke O’Neill, Fiona Powrie, Maria-Grazia Roncarolo, Pam Sharma, Hergen Spits. 

What will the programme be like & what will I learn? 

As a postdoctoral fellow in the Immunology Catalyst, you will have a world class academic immunologist as a mentor who will be focused on providing a comprehensive training programme and is expected to nurture skills that will enable you to become an independent scientific investigator. You will have the opportunity to author publications in high-impact scientific journals while rounding out your training with a deeper understanding of translation of drug discovery & development to medicines of value for patients. 

At the start of your post-doc, you’ll work with your supervisor to design a programme of research with mutually agreed timelines, milestones, objectives, accountability, and duration (up to 3 years). During your time you will have access to the expertise of GSK’s Immunology Network including the other academic immunologists on sabbatical, leading GSK immunologists and the external immunology board in addition to your direct supervisor. You will also have access to the extensive R&D engine including our: tools, technologies, libraries, samples, people, knowledge base, R&D events, and post-doc community events. 

You will have unrivalled experience of both academic and industry settings, exposure to industry leading research, high levels of innovation, and creativity, and also develop the ability to work in an international scientific environment. This training will prepare you well for a career in academia, industry, a regulatory or non-profit healthcare organisation. 

Do I have the skills? 

We‘re looking for exceptional PhD scientists with a background in Immunology or a related field. Proven scientific and theoretical capability, together with high levels of innovation, creativity, and the ability to solve complex problems are required. 


 An enthusiasm for demonstrating the following GSK expectations: 

 Set direction & inspire: Ensuring your work supports your team’s goals and the organisational priorities and applying sound judgement in all that you do 

 Work across boundaries: Building trusting relationships within and beyond your team to achieve goals 

 Release energy: Engaging constructively with others and demonstrating a positive mindset 

 Develop capabilities: Equipping yourself with the skills and knowledge to do great work, now and in the future, and supporting others to do the same 

 Drive performance: Holding yourself and others accountable for delivering quality results 

 Live our values; Acting as a role model, ensuring everything you do is in line with our values, serving patients and consumers 


We currently have a two vacancies in Stevenage for postdoctoral fellows; one to work with Prof. Timothy Radstake, MD, PhD, who is on secondment at GSK from University Medical Center Utrecht where he is Professor of Translational Immunology and Director of Utrecht Infection and Immunity FOCIS center of Excellence, the second to work with Dr. Florent Ginhoux who is on secondment at GSK from the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN). 

The project with Prof. Radstake will be focussed on ‘Developing new in vitro models to study mechanisms underlying immune diseases.’ 

We are seeking exceptional applicants with practical and theoretical knowledge in immunology, molecular biology and its application to design organotypic (complex in vitro) models mimicking diseases tissues for proof of concept studies. The current project builds further on a systems biology approach we have performed recently aimed at the identification of causative pathways epigenetic underlying primary Sjogrens syndrome (pSS). The candidate for this position will be responsible for setting up and executing an organotypic model for salivary glands to test proof of concept of such potential molecular candidates. Candidates should be interested in a team-oriented research and have a proven track-record on implementing knowledge derived from molecular biology to better understand pathogenic molecular mechanisms and identify key therapeutic targets for precision medicine. We want an independent, creative, innovative and well-organized person with excellent cooperative skills. 

The project with Dr. Ginhoux will be focussed on ‘Mapping human tissue mononuclear phagocytes in inflamed tissues’ 

We are seeking exceptional applicants with practical and theoretical knowledge in immunology, including complex flow cytometry and cell preparation from human tissue to execute this project. Mononuclear phagocytes including dendritic cells (DCs), monocytes and macrophages play crucial and distinct roles in tissue homeostasis and immunity, but also contribute to a broad spectrum of pathologies and are thus attractive therapeutic targets. Potential intervention strategies aiming at manipulation of these cells will require in-depth insights of their origins and the mechanisms that govern their homeostasis as well as their specialized immune functions in steady and in inflammation. Notably, inflammation induces the recruitment and activation of monocyte-derived cells that exhibit phenotypic features of both macrophages and DCs, as well as some DC precursors that will differentiate into inflammatory DC upon tissue-specific cues. 

This project will use state of the art flow cytometry and novel markers that allow the unambiguous identification of subpopulations, to profile mononuclear phagocytes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Mononuclear phagocytes will also be sorted for gene expression analysis as well as epigenetic profiling. Lastly, gene expression at the single cell level of selected populations of interest will be measured. We hypothesize that there are unique subsets of phagoccytes populations, with specific function that reflect distinct underlying immuno-

pathogenic mechanisms that are disease-specific. Revealing such mechanisms will reveal crucial insights in the pathophysiology of COPD. 

To apply, please go to the careers section at Immunology Catalyst 

and open job requisition ID WD89241

Upcoming events


Apr 05, 2019

Trinity College Dublin

Upcoming events

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