PhD Graduate Student - Immunology & Vaccinology


The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research, is a world leader in infectious disease research and vaccine development for humans and animals. Located at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, VIDO is home to one of the largest and most advanced containment level 3 facilities in the world. To strengthen the preparedness for emerging infectious diseases we are currently expanding our infrastructure to include containment level 4 capacity, a GMP vaccine manufacturing facility, and a new animal housing facility. Our vision includes having the capacity to study any emerging disease in any animal model embracing a One Health approach to prevent emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in humans and animals.
Project description
Bovine Johne’s disease is an economically important disease in cattle globally. Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is the causative agent of Johne’s disease and establishes a lifelong infection in the intestinal tract of ruminants. Our lab uses a unique surgical model to target delivery of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis to specific segments of the small intestine which allows us to investigate mucosal immune responses to enteric infection, evaluate vaccine-induced intestinal immunity, and interrogate the host-mycobacterial interaction in vivo. This project will use methods in mycobacteriology, cellular and molecular immunology in addition to omics-based technologies to address fundamental questions surrounding parenteral and oral vaccine development for Johne’s disease. The project aims are to advance our understanding of mucosal immunity to Johne’s disease and determine the extent to which parenteral and oral vaccine delivery routes can stimulate intestinal immunity to enteric mycobacterial infections. This information will be used to guide the rational design of new vaccine candidates.

Principal supervisor
Dr. Antonio Facciuolo
E-mail:, Phone: +1 (306)-966-1533

·      Recent graduate training in microbiology, immunology, or relevant biomedical or veterinary sciences is an asset.
·      Fluency in English and excellent communication skills.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
·      Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
·      Relevant work experience
·      Scientific publications
·      The grade point average achieved
·      Other professional activities
·      Language skills
·      The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills
Formal requirements
The position is available for a 4-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree.
The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD graduate student at the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine according to the rules stipulated in the guidelines for the Graduate Program at the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate program in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology.

Financial Support:
The candidate will be provided a stipend but will also be expected to apply for internal and external scholarships.

How to Apply
Candidates must submit electronically, one single application document (pdf file) that includes (1) a letter of motivation, (2) a complete curriculum vitae (CV), (3) a copy of graduate transcripts, and (4) contact information for individuals willing to provide references.
The successful applicant will be required to provide the following current verification(s) where 'Yes' is indicated below. Further information is available at:
Facility Access Screening including Criminal Record Check: Yes
Driver's License and Abstract Check: Not Applicable
Education/Credential Verification: Yes
Vulnerable Sector Check: Not Applicable
Review of applications will begin immediately; however, applications will be accepted and evaluated until the position is filled. We thank all applicants for their interest; only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

For more information visit:

Note: The University believes equity, diversity, and inclusion strengthen the community and enhance excellence, innovation and creativity. We are dedicated to recruiting individuals who will enrich our work and learning environments. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. We are committed to providing accommodations to those with a disability or medical necessity. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the recruitment process, please notify us and we will work together on the accommodation request. The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. Together, we are uplifting Indigenization to a place of prominence at the University of Saskatchewan.

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