Universidad Austral de Chile seeks researcher for FONDEF project

Investigador (con grado de Doctor) para proyecto FONDEF IdeA en Universidad Austral de Chile (Valdivia)

Part-time ~ 33horas


Production of Nanobodies for post-translational modifications: Simple antibodies for big challenges (FONDEFID17I10037)

In nature, there are a few exceptions of functional antibodies lacking the light chains, known as single domain antibodies (HCAb). They are derivates of bona fide IgG and occur in the entire Camilidae family, nurse shark, wobbegong, and perhaps spotted ratfish. The family of camelids comprises camels, dromedars, llamas, vicuñas, guanaco and alpacas. The antigen-binding fragment of an HCAb contains a single variable VHH domain consisting of 3 hypervariable regions. When isolated, the VHH domain is also known as Nanobody. The target-specific Nanobodies derived from HCAbs of camelids are generally rapidly obtained briefly after immunization with the target protein plus adjuvant.

Chile is a country with a huge biotechnological potential. In this application, we like to exploit the optimal conditions for camelid maintenance and its peculiar immune system to develop and produce recombinant antibody fragments of alpacas, known as Nanobodies. Over the last year, we have implemented the immunisation of Alpacas the laboratory for medical biotechnology at the Austral University of Chile, supported by the local government FICR funding, the European Union and Latino America and Caribbean organization in Health and now the FONDEF IdeA focussing on the development of economically attractive antibodies.

Antibodies are fundamental tools for biotechnology. In the field of post-translational modifications, the most successful antibodies detect phospho-specific modifications which contributes extensively to the study of phosphorylation and consequently to the understanding of cell signalling over several years . However, only a few examples can recognise post-translationally modified targets within the Ubiquitin-like proteins such as the commercially available Anti-ubiquityl-Histone H2A Antibody, clone E6C5 (SIGMA). Interestingly, conventional antibodies fail to recognise the interface of the target proteins and Ubiquitin-like proteins while the Ubiquitin-proteasome system plays a fundamental role in several cellular pathways including the development of several pathologies. Antibodies are urgently needed in this field. Nanobodies are the best possible antibodies for most applications and therefore we are currently developing this technology in the south of Chile.

Here, we aim to produce Nanobodies (small and recombinant single chain antibodies from alpacas) against post-translational modifications including epigenetic marks and members of the Ubiquitin-proteasome system. The generation of molecular tools for both pathways will be extremely useful; therefore this initiative is strongly supported by an international group of well-known experts on the study of post-translational modifications.

Requirements to apply:

  • Profesional: bioquímico, biotecnólogo o carreras afines.
  • Grado: Doctorado en ciencias biológicas o bioquímica
  • Requisito esencial: Experiencia con proteínas recombinantes, purificación, determinación de interaccione y afinidades.
  • Office skills: excellent technical abilities, enthusiasm, responsibility, rigour and commitment to work in a team and frustration tolerance.
  • Work experience: Indispensable (experienced technical biochemistry modern for measurement of interaction between proteins, molecular biology and recombinant protein expression), desirable (expertise in bio-business or expertise in) Ubiquitin-proteasome system, UPS)

The work involves:

  • Generation of Nanobodies involving cloning, production and purification of recombinant proteins, immunization of alpacas, isolation of lymphocytes generation of phagedisplay and bacterial display libraries, screening libraries, validation of antibodies and mostly quantitative analysis of interaction.
  • Handling of alpacas, support in immunization, cutting and shearing, etc...
  • Participate in the training of undergraduate and graduate students
  • CV (no photo)
  • Letter of motivation
  • Name, phone and email 2 address references, national or international

Send these documents via the form.

12 March 2018.