ESR11 - Innate immune sensing and restriction of Varicella zoster virus

University of Oxford, UK; Supervisor: Jan Rehwinkel


  • To characterize innate immune signalling pathways that detect Varicella zoster virus (VZV)
  • To identify host proteins that counteract VZV infection (restriction factors)

Expected achievements

  • To determine which innate immune sensors are involved in triggering VZV-driven type I interferon (IFN) responses
  • To clone all VZV open reading frames (about 70) and to determine which VZV-encoded proteins antagonize the antiviral immune response
  • To identify by mass spectrometry the host proteins that interact with the identified viral antagonists and to characterize if and how these cellular proteins act as virus restriction factors

Planned Secondments

  • Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany; mass spectrometry
  • Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark; restriction factor expression in patient samples


  • Solid background in molecular cell biology, virology, and immunology
  • Solid practical experience in at least two of the following areas: molecular cloning, genome engineering, RNAi, protein biochemistry, virology, innate immunology
  • Ability to manage large experimental setups and high organizational skills

Appointment details

Based on a full-time appointment, the duration of the appointment as a Marie Curie ITN fellow will be for a maximum period of 3 years. The D.Phil. student will become member of the Graduate Programme of the Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, and is expected to present her/his work regularly and to follow the mandatory training program.



Contact details

Jan Rehwinkel, Associate Professor of Innate Immunology

MRC Human Immunology Unit

Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine

Radcliffe Department of Medicine

University of Oxford, UK

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.