Postoctoral position on the Immune Mechanisms of HIV Control

Postoctoral position at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, on the Immune Mechanisms of HIV Control

A post-doctoral position is available to study mechanisms by which rare individuals can spontaneously control HIV infection. The successful applicant will join the team of Lisa Chakrabarti, in the Viral Pathogenesis Unit at the Pasteur Institute ( The position, funded by the French National Agency for AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Research (ANRS), is available for two years starting from March 2014.

We are studying immune responses in HIV Controllers, who are patients who spontaneously control HIV replication in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. Studying these rare patients provides the unique opportunity to understand how the immune system can mount an efficient response against HIV, and may help determine the type of immune responses that should be induced by candidate HIV vaccines. We have obtained evidence that HIV controllers harbor virus-specific memory CD4+ T cells with high avidity TCRs that can respond to minimal amounts of HIV Gag antigen. We aim to determine whether this property leads to a more efficient differentiation of T follicular helper cells (Tfh), which could in turn help B cells produce highly matured antibodies against HIV.

The project will be based on the molecular and functional characterization of the Tfh population in HIV Controllers. HIV-specific Tfh cells will be characterized by MHC class II tetramer binding and intracellular cytokine staining. Tfh cells will be sorted and tested for their capacity to stimulate HIVspecific memory B cells. A major objective will be to identify the TCR repertoire of Tfh cells, through Immunoscope and novel single cell-based techniques. High avidity TCRs will be cloned and transduced to heterologous T cells to determine if they are sufficient to confer efficient Tfh functions, and if they can be used to optimize T/B coculture systems for anti-HIV antibody production.

Relevant publications:
- Vingert B. et al. (2010) HIV Controllers CD4+ T cells respond to minimal amounts of Gag antigen due to high TCR avidity. PLoS Pathogens 6(2): e1000780
- Chakrabarti L.A. and Simon V. (2010) Immune mechanisms of HIV control. Current Opinion in Immunology 22: 488-496.
- Vingert B, Benati D., et al. (2012) HIV Controllers maintain a population of highly efficient Th1 effector cells in contrast to patients treated in the long term. J. Virol.86: 10661-10674


The candidate should have a PhD in the field of Immunology or Virology, with research experience in the analysis of T cell responses or TCR structure / function. Expertise in molecular biology and cell sorting will be an asset. Strong motivation, the ability to work independently, and good communication skills in spoken and written English are essential.


Applications including a CV, a cover letter detailing skills and motivation, and contact information for at least two referees should be sent by e-mail to:
Informal enquiries are welcome.
Dr. Lisa A. Chakrabarti,
Unité de Pathogénie Virale,
Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Dr. Roux,
75724 Paris Cedex 15, Paris, FRANCE.
Phone: +33 1 45 68 89 45

Mis à jour le 18/11/2013