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Postdoctoral position in mathematical/statistical modelling of Plasmodium vivax malaria treatment strategies at Institut Pasteur, Paris

The Malaria: Parasites and Hosts Unit at Institut Pasteur was created in 2016 and is directed by Prof Ivo Mueller. The Unit utilises interdisciplinary approaches to investigate the epidemiology of malaria transmission, drawing on tools from molecular biology, sero-epidemiology and statistical and mathematical modelling. The Unit boasts world leading expertise in the epidemiology of P. vivax malaria, coordinating the Asia Pacific International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR) and actively working with collaborators in study sites in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Indonesia and Brazil.

Job description
Two of the most important interventions under development for the control and elimination of P. vivax malaria are (i) the integration of tafenoquine into first-line treatment strategies; and (ii) serological screening and treatment (SSAT) for interrupting transmission in populations by identifying and treating infected individuals. Tafenoquine, developed by GlaxoSmithKline with the support of Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), is an anti-malarial drug effective against hypnozoites, the long-lasting liver-stage of the P. vivax parasite responsible for relapse infections. The SSAT strategy is based on the identification of likely hypnozoite carriers using diagnostic tools being developed by our Unit in Institut Pasteur in collaboration with partners in The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.

We are seeking a postdoc to investigate the public health impact and support the development of these strategies using mathematical models of P. vivax transmission. The overall aims of the project are:
• Develop mathematical models of the impact of tafenoquine treatment on P. vivax transmission in Brazil, in collaboration with partners in Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Rio de Janeiro.
• Guide the development of SSAT strategies by simulating the public health impact in a range of transmission settings.

Candidates will utilise an existing computational model of the dynamics of P. vivax transmission to simulate the impact of these interventions. Candidates will be expected to incorporate a range of data sources into their analyses using statistical methods such as Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC).

Candidates will be expected to travel to collaborators in Fiocruz in Rio de Janeiro and present results to stakeholders at international meetings.
The successful candidate will be given a one-year contract with possibility to extend it for another 6 – 12 months, should both parties agree.
Interested candidates should contact Dr Michael White ( with a statement of interest and a CV including contact details of two academic referees.

Location: Malaria: Parasites and Hosts Unit, Institut Pasteur, 25-28 Rue du Dr Roux, 75015 Paris, France.

Person specification:
• Research experience of working with mathematical and/or statistical models.
• A strong interest in infectious disease epidemiology.
• Programming experience in C, C++ or Java.
• Knowledge of a statistical programming language (preferably R).
• Ability to collate and analyse data, interpret and present results to a high standard using a range of specialised research techniques.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills. The working language of the laboratory is English.
• Experience in communicating research findings to a non-specialist audience.
• PhD in one of the following areas: infectious disease epidemiology, population biology, mathematics, statistics, physics, computer science or a similarly quantitative discipline.

Institut Pasteur
Closing date
April 21st, 2018
Posted on
March 21st, 2018 12:01
Last updated
March 21st, 2018 12:01