2021

Post Doctoral Research Postions Available in our Molecular Rheumatology Group!!

Molecular Rheumatology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, TCD (https://rheumatologytcd.com) is seeking to appoint  Two Post-Doctoral Fellow (2 years) to examine the underlying molecular mechanisms mediating immune-stromal cell interactions which are critically involved in driving  inflammatory responses in Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases.

Project Description: Inflammatory arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease, the pathogenesis of which involves complex cellular interactions and networks of various cytokines that trigger the synovium to transform into a ‘tumor-like’ pannus, which invades both cartilage and bone, resulting in functional disability. In this project we will specifically focus on monocyte/macrophage-synovial fibroblast interactions and examine (i) functional, metabolic and transcriptional regulation between immune and stromal cells and (ii) examine the potential of targeting newly identified pathways in novel co-culture models and in ex-vivo whole tissue synovial explant models. This project will allow deeper understanding of the specific cellular, metabolic, molecular and functional dysregulation at the site of inflammation, in addition to examining the role for metabolic re-programming in the resolution of inflammation.

Applications are invited with experience in the areas of cell biology, immunology, biochemistry,  molecular biology, physiology or a related discipline. Key techniques in this project include, primary cell culture, molecular biology, flow cytometry, ELISA/MSD assays, metabolic assays and imaging. Practical experience in some of these skills would be desirable.

The positions are for 2 years and  post-doctoral salaries will be on the IUA Scale, on the  PD1 level- point 3-6; €54,936-€59771 (salary inclusive of pension/PRSI) or PD2 level-point 1-4; €61,470-€66,881 (salary inclusive of pension/PRSI) depending on experience

Informal enquiries to Prof Ursula Fearon, fearonu@tcd.ie, Molecular Rheumatology, TCD (https://rheumatologytcd.com)

How to Apply: The candidate should apply directly to WADESI@tcd.ie along with a detailed CV and cover note.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Jan 15th 2022

Irish Society for Rheumatology 2021

Congrats to TCD Rheumatology researchers Dr Achilleas Floudas and Dr Colm Kirby (Tallaght University Hospital) on their best scientific and clinical presentations at the Irish Society for Rheumatology meeting 2021

Congrats to our two brilliant PhD candidates Serena Foo & Brianne Barker (1 month into her PhD) who won 1st and 2nd poster prizes at the Irish Society For Rheumatology 2021

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Great Opportunity to Join the Molecular Rheumatology Group in Trinity College Dublin!

SFI funded Post-Doctoral Fellow and PhD studentship available in Molecular Rheumatology, TBSI, TCD.                                               

Molecular Rheumatology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, TCD (https://rheumatologytcd.com) is seeking to appoint a Post-Doctoral Fellow (3 years) and a PhD student (4 years), funded by Science Foundation Ireland, to perform research focused on the identification of molecular signatures that distinguish RA and PsA pathotypes – impact for disease progression and response.

Project Description: Inflammatory arthritis are chronic autoimmune diseases. Two of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis (IA) are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) with peak onset of disease between 35-45 years of age. The pathogenesis of IA involves complex cellular interactions and networks of various cytokines that trigger the synovium to transform into a ‘tumor-like’ pannus, which invades both cartilage and bone, resulting in functional disability. Common pathogenic features exist between RA and PsA, however significant differences are observed at the clinical, immunological, cellular and molecular level. While some synthetic and biological DMARDs are effective in both patient groups, different responses have been demonstrated to new targeted therapies.

At a molecular single-cell level, little is known about the distinct underlying mechanisms involved in driving this differential pathogenesis in the target tissue of disease ‘the synovium’, with most studies restricted to histological analysis, which has failed to provide solutions. In this project, using extensive primary cell culture, molecular analysis, scRNAseq, VISIUM spatial-RNAseq, non-invasive imaging analysis, along with extensive mechanistic studies using 2D/3D culture models, we will dissect the distinct molecular signatures involved in driving differential monocyte and macrophage pathogenic mechanisms in RA and PsA to define (i) differential pathogenic mechanisms and (ii) identify new targets for novel therapeutic strategies. This project utilises a multidisciplinary approach combining expertise in molecular biology, cell biology and bioengineering, applied to cell and tissue obtained from well-defined patient cohorts, thus will contribute to our basic knowledge of the disease pathogenesis.

Applications are invited with experience in the areas of cell biology, immunology, biochemistry, bioinformatics or a related discipline. Applicants should have a strong interest in translational research, with this project focused on autoimmune diseases. Key techniques in this project include, primary cell culture, molecular biology, flow cytometry, ELISA/MSD assays, 3D scaffold cultures, metabolic assays and bioinformatics. Practical experience in some of these skills would be desirable.

The post-doctoral salary will be on the IUA Scale Level 2B point 1-3-(including PRSI and pension) for 3 years. The PhD student will be supported by a stipend of €18500 + fees for 4 years.

Informal enquiries to Prof Ursula Fearon, fearonu@tcd.ie, Molecular Rheumatology, TCD (https://rheumatologytcd.com)

How to Apply: The candidate should apply directly to WADESI@tcd.ie along with a detailed CV and cover note.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st Dec 2021

EULAR 2021

This year’s EULAR meeting was held virtually and the Molecular Rheumatology research group were well represented. Well done to Dr Viviana Marzaioli, Dr Megan Hanlon, Dr Achilleas Floudas and Serena Foo who had oral presentations and poster sessions at the conference and were given the opportunity to field questions regarding their research.

Fascinating research by Prof. Ursula Fearon’s Lab on, inter alia, the relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and immune cell metabolism. First in a series of stories diving into biomedical innovation at Trinity!

Professor Ursula Fearon in her lab at Trinity College Dublin's TBSI. Photo Trevor Butterworth

ISI “Take a Cell-fie” Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to our very own Dr. Clare Cunningham and Dr. Viviana Marzaioli for winning the Irish Society for Immunology’s photo competition! Check out their winning entries below.

“Fibros on the storm” -Synovial fibroblasts from RA joint
Clare Cunningham
TEM image of circulating monocyte from an RA patient
Viviana Marzaioli

Congratulations to our very own Dr. Achilleas Floudas! Click here to download the article.

Janssen Newman Fellowship in Rheumatology

University College Dublin is pleased to announce the Janssen Newman Fellowship in Rheumatology as part of its programme to provide postdoctoral research opportunities for scholars of proven academic excellence. The appointment of a Newman Fellow in Rheumatology is established with the generous support of Janssen, and is expected to contribute to understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in differential pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis Project Summary: Inflammatory arthritis (IA) such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are the two most common autoimmune diseases. In IA activated immune invade the joint where they release pro-inflammatory mediators that destroy cartilage and bone, leading to functional disability. Targeted medicines have advanced RA/PsA treatment, however a significant proportion of patients still don’t respond. While common pathogenic features exist between RA and PsA, there are also differences which may explain their distinct clinical features, and more importantly, it may explain different responses to specific therapies, that impact on disease outcomes and prognoses. Thus, the current project focuses on identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms that differentiate RA and PsA pathogenesis. We will utilise a combination of well-established in vitro and ex vivo tissue/cell models, along with single cell, metabolic, molecular and bioinformatic analysis in well-defined patient cohorts to examine immune-stromal cell Interactions, and how this may differ between RA and PsA. This approach will allow identification of new disease markers and drug-candidates for the treatment of RA, PsA and possibly other autoimmune diseases. This project combines excellent clinical resources with our ability to perform extensive molecular and cellular studies which will contribute to our basic knowledge of the disease pathogenesis and will provide the basis for strong publications. The project will be based between the Centre for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases, SVUH (https://arthritissvuh.com/) and Molecular Rheumatology, TCD (https://rheumatologytcd.com), under the supervision of Prof Douglas Veale and Prof Ursula Fearon Qualifications: Applications are invited with experience in the areas of cell biology, Immunology, Bioinformatics, biochemistry, or a related discipline. Applicants should have a strong interest in Translational research, with the focus of this project Inflammation. Key techniques in this project include, primary cell culture, molecular biology, Flow cytometry, metabolic assays and bioinformatics. Practical experience in some of these skills would be desirable. The Janssen Newman Fellowship comes with a generous stipend and is tenable for two years. Informal enquiries to Prof Douglas Veale, douglas.veale@ucd.ie and Prof Ursula Fearon, fearonu@tcd.ie How to Apply: The candidate must complete the Newman Fellowship Candidate Form and provide an updated and detailed CV and send both documents to: graduatestudies@ucd.ie with ‘Newman Fellowship in Rheumatology’ in the subject line. Two nominated referees must separately submit their confidential reports using the Newman Fellowship Referee Form and send to: graduatestudies@ucd.ie with ‘Candidate Name Report for Newman Fellowship in Rheumatology’ in the subject line. The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 17th Feb 2021