​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Division of Molecular Biology and Huma​​n Gene​​tics​​ ​  



No opportunities are currently available.


Project title: Antimycobacterial activity of photochemically functionalized metallic nanoparticles. 

Host: Vuyo L​ab | Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University

Duration: 3 years (depending on progress, with renewal possible beyond this period contingent on funding).

Project description: 

South Africa is listed among the 30 highest tuberculosis (TB) burden countries, collectively contributing 87% of the world’s new TB cases. In 2018, an estimated 301 000 people fell ill from TB in South Africa (contributing 3% to the global total of 10 million cases), and about 64 000 died from the disease. Statistics show that incidences of new TB cases in South Africa and across the globe are decreasing, reflecting the success of improvements in medical care and treatment over the last decade. Further analysis of the statistics however shows that there is an imminent crisis of rifampicin-resistant (RR-TB)/multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), showing a treatment success rate of only 54% and 58% respectively. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve the TB treatment process by introducing new drugs which will have novel mechanisms of action and safer cytotoxicity levels. 

The successful candidate will join a growing team of individuals working antimycobacterial activity of chemically synthesized nanoparticles. Photochemically induced modifications of metallic nanoparticles with pure compounds and/or crude extracts will also be performed using various UV wavelengths.  More information about the VuyoLab and its research activities can be found on the research group’s webpage​.

Application details: Applicants should have attained a PhD within the last 5 years and have a strong background in molecular biology, microbiology, or chemistry. Experience in synthesizing metallic nanoparticles and working in a BSL3 environment with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv is a prerequisite. For more information, please contact Dr Vuyo Mavumengwana (vuyom@sun.ac.za). ​

How to apply:

Please send a covering letter, a CV containing details of relevant experience and the email addresses and telephone numbers of 3 references to the above email address. Early applications are encouraged.

Closing date: 30 September 2022


Project title: Utilisation of whole genome sequencing for clinical patient management​ of tuberculosis

Host: TB Genomics Research Group | Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University​

Scope of Research:

The TB Genomics group has its foundation in the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a high-incidence setting and has provided new insights into the epidemiology of both drug-susceptible and drug-resistant tuberculosis. Our group focuses on comparative genomics by targeted deep sequencing (TDS), transcriptomics using RNA-seq, and proteomics, allowing us to investigate the epidemiology and evolution of M.tuberculosis. The group is supported by an outstanding microbiology core with expertise in mycobacterial culture, drug susceptibility testing, minimum inhibitory concentration determination, and archiving of clinical isolates. A postdoctoral position in a study linked to the utilisation of WGS for clinical patient management is now available. We are looking for a strong candidate that meets the requirements below.​ For more information on the TB Genomics research activities please visit their website.

 Postdoctoral Position Requirements:

  • PhD in molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, genetics 
  • Experience in molecular methods 
  • Experience in DNA extraction 
  • Demonstrated the ability to publish 
  • Good communication skills, collaborative and multidisciplinary interest. 
  • Team player 
  • Computer skills 
  • Able to travel between Tygerberg Medical Campus and the NHLS Greenpoint (added advantage) 
  • Experience in molecular techniques, WGS (added advantage) 
  • Excellent knowledge of English, both oral and written. 
  • Experience in working with M. tuberculosis 
  • Trained to work in a BSL3 facility 

We offer: 

  • A postdoctoral contract beginning in November 2022 
  • Postdoctoral funding from an NIH-funded study 
  • A stimulating international collaborative network 

 How to apply:

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, academic certificates, two letters of recommendation to Robin M Warren at rw1@sun.ac.za and Nabila Ismail nabilai@sun.ac.za.​​


Project title:  Characterization of lung resident- and peripheral innate cell effector functions in the context of M.tb infection and disease.

Host: Innate Immunity Lab | SU Immunology Research Group | Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University

Summary of fellowship:  A non-taxable fellowship, compliant with SARS regulations, is offered for 2 years with annual renewal contingent on progress, performance reviews, and funding availability. The fellowship could be extended for up to 5 years, depending on progress and available funds​

Scope of Research: 

The Stellenbosch University Immunology Research Group performs cutting-edge research in clinical and basic immunology on TB pathogenesis and biomarker discovery. We are inviting applications for a postdoctoral fellowship hosted by the Stellenbosch University Immunology Research Group (SU-IRG) in the Innate immunity team. Human infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) is known to result in a spectrum of disease outcomes, ranging from cleared infection to severe disease. In pulmonary M.tb infection, peripheral- and lung-resident immune responses are likely important determinants of disease outcome, yet these and subsequent effector functions remain poorly understood. Specifically, the immune composition of TB granulomas along the spectrum of TB infection remains under investigation. Our research focuses on various aspects of peripheral- versus site of disease and granuloma-specific immunity by using high-dimensional mass- and flow cytometry, as well as single-cell transcriptomic data for high-throughput interrogation and characterization of cell populations. Our goal is to better understand the role of innate immune cells at the site of M.tb infection during various stages of disease. The current post-doctoral position is for a candidate with proven experience in R-suite-based pipelines for differential analyses of such high-dimensional data sets, along with an interest in select wet lab assays to generate these data sets.​ For more information on the Stellenbosch University Immunology Research group visit their website.

Key Requirements 

    1. Ph.D degree in a molecular biology field, with immunology as main subject. 
    2. Advanced experience at every step, in analysis of high-parameter data, including quality control (e.g, multi-dimensional scaling plots), reporting of clustering results (dimensionality reduction, heatmaps with dendrograms) and differential analyses (e.g, plots of aggregated signals). 
    3. Thorough competence in R-suite and relevant packages. 
    4. Thorough understanding of statistical requirement for analysing multi-dimensional datasets. 
    5. Extensive experience in mass/flow cytometry (multiparameter panel design, staining, acquisition) and cellular immunology. 
    6. A track record of publications in the field of molecular biology/immunology of infectious diseases. 
    7. Ability to work independently. 
    8. Good communication and organizational skills. 
    9. Ability to handle multiple projects and priorities with exceptional time management skills. 
    10. Experience in supervising postgraduate students (honours and MSc level) 
    11. Be familiar with and trained in accordance to GCLP guidelines. 
    12. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in single cell phenotyping/transcriptomics. 
    13. Experience in other specialized immunological end-assays will be advantageous. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

  • The fellowship holder will be expected to design and execute the project, analyze and interpret the data. 
  • Provide up-to-date technical expertise, advice and support in immunological techniques, with a particular focus on experiments generating multi-parameter datasets. 
  • Apply solid scientific proficiency, creativity, critical thinking ability to collaborate effectively with others, and independently thought processes. 
  • Supervision of post-graduate students. 
  • Assist with the operational matters specific to the project. 
  • Record and maintain data and information, as relevant and appropriate. 
  • Contribute to the presentation of results to the group, collaborators, and to the research community in general. 
  • Contribute substantially to the preparation of grant reports and scientific publications. 
  • Comply with University policies, including financial regulations, equal opportunities, promoting race equality policy, health and safety policy, information systems security policy and intellectual property rights. 

How to Apply

Applications or enquiries regarding the fellowship can be directed to Prof. G. Walzl and A/Prof. N. du Plessis (gwalzl@sun.ac.za; nelita@sun.ac.za). Please include a letter of motivation, full CV and contact details of 3 referees. 

Closing date for applications: 31 November 2022


​No opportunities are currently available.