The University of Toronto Immunology/Hematology Research Group at the Keenan Research Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital is looking for 2 postdoctoral fellows. The laboratory is focused on the study of novel antibody-based therapeutics in the treatment and/or prevention of immune diseases.
1) Antibody-based therapeutics to interrupt autoimmune disease. Self-reactive antibodies represent a significant force in autoimmune disease pathophysiology. In antibody-dependent autoimmune syndromes such as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), systemic lupus erythematosus, myasthenia gravis and rheumatoid arthritis, autoantibodies exert their inflammatory effect through Fc receptors for IgG (FcγRs), a well-established class of cell surface receptors that interact with the Fc domain of IgG. The engagement between FcγRs and IgG has been established to be indispensable for the efficacy of many therapeutic antibodies. Our laboratory has recently shown that this pathway can be neutralized by a novel monovalent antibody construct (Blood. 2016;127(1):132-138). Postdoctoral opportunities are available to work on, and/or lead this project as well as encouraged to develop other parallel projects with the same overall goal of understanding or interrupting autoimmune disease.
2) Antibody-mediated immune suppression. When antibodies are co-injected into a host along with a particulate antigen (such as an erythrocyte, bacteria, or virus), rather than making an immune response, the host’s immune system does not respond to the antigen. This process is known as antibody-mediated immune suppression (AMIS). AMIS has been taken advantage of in the clinic for the successful prevention of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn. Unfortunately, despite the tremendous clinical success obtained in the clinic, we do not at present understand the immunologic mechanism behind this effect. Our lab has had success at understanding and taking advantage of this mechanism (Blood. 2016;128(8):1076-1080). A postdoctoral opportunity is available to work on this project. The optimal candidate will have molecular biology skills to enable the design of novel IgG constructs that the candidate will mutate to disrupt IgG Fc functions. The candidate will also be encouraged to develop other parallel research projects or work on other projects with the same overall goal of understanding how antibodies mediate immune suppression.
Postdoctoral fellows in the laboratory are given the freedom to collaborate with others inside and outside of our lab or Institute, design experiments and explore new avenues of research as well as write grants; dependent on their ability. For more information on our laboratory see our website, www.platelet.ca.
If you are interested in one of these opportunities please contact our lab through this advertisement or you can apply or gain more info through our lab website, www.platelet.ca.