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Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
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Job Details

Position Title:

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Vacancy ID:



Globl Hlth and Infect Disease - 427801

Position Type:

Postdoctoral Scholar

Salary Range:

Dependent on Qualifications/Experience


Full Time



Proposed Start Date:


Estimated Duration of Appointment:

24 Months

Posting Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Work Location:

Chapel Hill, NC

Position Summary:

We are seeking highly motivated postdoctoral research associates to perform basic and translational research in the laboratories of Drs. Angela Wahl, Martina Kovarova and J. Victor Garcia, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and Center for AIDS Research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

We work with a multidisciplinary team of investigators from academia, government, and industry to develop and use precision animal models to study fundamental aspects of the immune system during health and disease and interactions between human-specific pathogens and their host. Our work is funded by multiple NIH grant awards, private foundation investments, and federal government contracts. Areas of research in our laboratories include:

*1) HIV Persistence and Cure: We are using state of the art precision animal models to study the contribution of different cell types and compartments throughout the body to the establishment and maintenance of the long-lived HIV reservoir (Nature Medicine, 2017, 23(5):638; Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016, 126: 424; Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2018, 128(7):2862). We also use these models to evaluate the efficacy of new HIV cure strategies (Nature, 2020, 578(7793):160; Nature, 2020, 578(7793):154; Cell Reports, 2017, 21(3):600; PLoS Pathogens, 2014, 10(1):1003872).

*2) HIV Transmission and Prevention: In collaboration with academic, government, and industry partners, we are studying the mechanisms of HIV transmission (sexual, intravenous, mother-to-child) to aid the development of novel HIV prevention and therapeutic approaches. (Nature Communications, 2018, 10(1):4324; Science Translational Medicine, 2019, 11(499):eaap8756, Nature Communications, 2019, 9(1): 4156; Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016, 126(4):1353; Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016, 126(3):892; Cell, 2015, 163(3):746; PLoS Pathogens, 2015, 11(8):e1005075; PLoS Pathogens, 2012, 8(6):e1002732)

*3) The Microbiome in Health and Disease: Together with our industry and government partners, we are developing novel precision animal models to investigate the role of the human microbiome in health and disease and its interactions with human pathogens of high clinical relevance. We are particularly interested in the role of the microbiome in drug metabolism, cancer development, and infectious disease. We currently have a large multi-institutional NIH-funded program to evaluate the role of human gut microbiota in HIV acquisition, pathogenesis, and persistence. This work is also supported in part by the National Gnotobiotic Rodent Resource Center located at UNC.

*4) In vivo analysis of the interaction between clinically relevant human pathogens and their host including COVID-19: We are also interested in collaborative studies that use the novel precision animal models developed in our laboratories to perform basic and translational research on a variety of emerging and highly clinically relevant human pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, Zika virus, EBV, RSV, Rhinovirus, Metapneumovirus, Influenza virus, mycobacteria, and CMV (Nature Biotechnology, 2019, 37:1163).

Postdoctoral research associates will be highly encouraged to submit applications for postdoctoral fellowship awards from relevant institutional, government and foundation organizations. Postdoctoral research associates will also have the opportunity to prepare and submit abstracts to attend national and international conferences.

Educational Requirements:

A D.V.M., M.D., and/or Ph.D. in Microbiology, Virology, Molecular Biology, or other related fields is required.

Qualifications and Experience:

Candidates should be self-motivated and have strong laboratory and analytical skills as demonstrated by a strong track record of relevant publications. Outstanding communication skills, as well as the ability to work well in a highly collaborative team environment, are essential.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Special Instructions:

For information on UNC Postdoctoral Benefits and Services click here


The nation’s first public university is at the heart of what’s next, preparing a diverse student body to become creators, explorers, innovators and leaders in North Carolina and throughout the world. Carolina’s nationally recognized, innovative teaching, campus-wide spirit of inquiry and dedication to public service continue the legacy that began in 1795 when the University first opened its doors to students.

Here, in one of America's most beautiful college settings, we offer exceptional careers in richly diverse fields. Come explore what UNC-Chapel Hill has to offer you.

Undergraduate Enrollment: 19,117

Graduate/Professional Enrollment: 10,894

Total Student Enrollment: 30,011

Founded: 1789, as the first state university in the United States

Type of Institution: Public, four-year

Undergraduate Admission: 15,961

Graduate/Professional Enrollment: 10,039

Total Student Enrollment: 26,000

Faculty: 3,000

Percentage of faculty who hold Ph.D.s or the highest degrees in their field: 94 percent

Faculty/student ratio: 1/14

Location: UNC is located in the heart of Chapel Hill, the best college town in America! It's a friendly town of about 40,000 in the geographical center of North Carolina. Chapel Hill is at the western point of the Research Triangle, an area of about one million people, comprised of Chapel Hill, the cities of Durham and Raleigh, and the Research Triangle Park, home of many corporate offices and scientific research centers. Carolina is about 30 miles from the state capital, Raleigh, and 20 minutes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Chapel Hill's main street, Franklin Street, borders the campus and offers shops, coffee houses, cafés, movie theaters and houses of worship. The town has a historic district, museum, library, parks, malls, and many recreational facilities.

Origins of Carolina's students: 82 percent of UNC's freshmen are from North Carolina and 18 percent are from out-of-state. Our students come from 42 different states and our international students represent 37 countries.

Size of freshman class: Approximately 3,400

Class size: Barely five percent of undergraduate classes contain more than 100 students; two-thirds of undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students. Forty-one percent have fewer than 20 students, including First Year Seminars, in which first-year students work closely with professors.

Sports and athletic programs: UNC is an NCAA Division I school with 28 varsity teams. Carolina is the proud home of the Dean Smith Center, Kenan Stadium, Carmichael Auditorium, Koury Natatorium, and many other fine athletic facilities. Students join more than 60 intramural and club sports, which include baseball, bowling, crew, golf, lacrosse, rock climbing, rugby, tae kwon do, and ultimate frisbee. The Student Recreation Center offers weight training, aerobics, stair machines, and all the equipment you would expect to find at a great health club! Carolina offers a newly renovated outdoor pool and indoor pools, a golf course, tennis courts, and the longest zipline in America!

Number of residence halls: Incoming undergraduates will live in one of Carolina's 29 residence halls, which are wired for Internet access and cable television.

Scholarships and financial aid: About 40 percent of UNC-Chapel Hill students receive scholarships and/or some form of financial aid.

Special research institutes: Institute for Research in Social Science, Institute of Outdoor Drama, Morehead Planetarium, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Institute of Government, Institute of African American Research.

Career services: On-campus counseling, job fairs, résumé writing service, internships, placement services.

Technological facilities: Students find multiple uses for Carolina's state-of-the-art technological resources. They can access Carolina's computer services through Academic Technology and Networks, which manages academic computing, e-mail, microcomputing labs, interactive media presentation, video and classroom support, and a help desk. The MetaLab oversees the development of SunSITE, one of the world's busiest digital library and electronic publishing projects.

Students may open e-mail accounts, and many use campus computer resources to construct personal Web pages. Students in residence halls have hardwired network connections to the Internet and cable television in their rooms. At the ATN Training center, students may take classes on software packages and utilities. Computer labs are available for student use all over campus.

Carolina Computing Initiative: Beginning with the freshman class of 2000, undergraduates must purchase laptop computers. The University has arranged for IBM to offer computers at excellent prices. Students, faculty, and staff will enjoy cost savings, higher quality compatible equipment, and better technical support through CCI.

The Study Abroad program allows students to live and learn in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Rim, Africa, and the Americas.

The Honors Program offers special seminars, research programs, and the chance to design your own independent studies.

Carolina students spend time in public service through student organizations, the Campus Y, the Carolina Center for Public Service, and courses that incorporate community service.

UNC's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a national collegiate honor society, is the oldest in North Carolina, dating from 1904. There are many other honorary societies at Carolina.

UNC offers ROTC programs in all branches of national military service.

Through the First Year Seminars program, first year students will understand what it means to study at a premier research university. They will learn from faculty members and share in their research in seminars of no more than 20 students.

Life outside the classroom: More than 370 clubs, teams, and student organizations offer something for everyone! You can choose from among musical and dramatic performing groups, publications, ethnic and religious clubs, the Campus Y and other service organizations, fraternities and sororities, and pre- professional organizations. Whatever your interests, you will find others at Carolina who share them!

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