Announcement of special recruitment to the Wrocław Doctoral School of Institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Wrocław for a doctoral student and a scholarship holder in a research project of the National Science Center under the OPUS 22

INSTITUTION: Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy of the Polish Academy of Sciences (HIIET PAS)

CITY: Wrocław

POSITION: PhD student in a research project of the National Science Center

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINE: biological or medical sciences

DATE OF ANNOUNCEMENT: October 19, 2022

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS: November 20, 2022.

DATE OF THE COMPETITION: November 30, 2022

LINK TO THE WDS IPAS WEBSITE: http://wsdipan.intibs.pl

LINK TO HIIET PAS WEBSITE: www.hirszfeld.pl

KEYWORDS: endometriosis, HLA class I antigen processing, ERAP1, ERAP2 and LNPEP endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidases

 The Wrocław Doctoral School of Institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences announces a special recruitment for a doctoral student and a scholarship holder in the research project entitled "Elements of the HLA class I antigen processing machinery as factors involved in the pathomechanism and progression of endometriosis", commissioned by the National Science Center (grant no. 2021/43/B/NZ5/00328) at the Laboratory of Immunogenetics and Tissue Immunology, Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy Polish Academy of Sciences in Wrocław.

We offer work in a specialized research laboratory that allows you to obtain a doctorate in biological or medical sciences.

Description of the research project

The research and doctoral thesis will be carried out as part of the research project: “Elements of the HLA class I antigen processing machinery as factors involved in the pathomechanism and progression of endometriosis”, commissioned by the National Science Center (grant no. 2021/43/B/NZ5/00328).

A summary of the project:

 Endometriosis is a debilitating gynecological disease defined as the presence of endometrial cells in an abnormal or ectopic location outside the uterine cavity. The most commonly affected sites are the pelvic peritoneum, ovaries, uterosacral ligaments, and the rectovaginal septum. Abnormal tissue responds to hormonal stimulation, and undergoes cyclical growth and shedding, similar to properly located endometrial tissue in the uterus. Common symptoms of endometriosis are: painful periods and ovulation, severe pelvic contractions, profuse bleeding, pain during sex, urination and bowel pain, bleeding and pain between periods. Endometriosis occurs in approximately 10–15% of women of reproductive age, 20–50% of infertile women, and 71–87% of women with chronic pelvic pain. Women wait 8-10 years on average for a diagnosis. The basic method of diagnosing endometriosis is laparoscopy (called the gold standard), which involves excision of endometriotic lesions. Symptomatic endometriosis is treated with hormone therapy and analgesics, but endometriosis often comes back. Therefore, it is important to have a comprehensive and individualized approach to the patient and to find a non-invasive diagnostic marker of the disease. Many theories have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Sampson's theory of retrograde menstruation is considered to be the most widely accepted. This theory assumes that endometriosis occurs due to the backflow of endometrial cells through the fallopian tubes during menstruation. However, it has been shown that this process occurs in 90% of women, while endometriosis is diagnosed in only 10% of them. This means that there must be a mechanism that blocks a woman's immune system from removing endometrial cells, interferes with endometrial function, leading to ectopic implantation of the endometrium and the formation of lesions. The aim of this project is to study the role of gene polymorphisms and their protein products involved in the so-called "processing" of HLA class I antigen - ERAP1, ERAP2, LNPEP, TAP1, TAP2, LMP2, LMP7, LMP10 and tapazine in endometriosis. Perhaps the polymorphism of the proposed genes influencing protein expression, their activity and substrate specificity may be related to the predisposition to endometriosis and its severity. HLA class I alleles will be tested at the high resolution level using the NGS method. We also plan to investigate selected microRNAs as negative regulators of the expression of the proposed molecules, as well as the promoter methylation status of selected genes. We will examine 500 patients with endometriosis and 600 control women without endometriosis. In addition, we will study the expression of these proteins and HLA class I in tissues affected by the ectopic endometrium, as well as the expression of appropriate miRNAs by Real-Time PCR, using immunohistochemical methods. The inability to form normal HLA class I complexes with the appropriate peptides may result in the lack of an immune response of CD8+ and NK cells, contributing to the implantation of the ectopic endometrium and the development of endometriosis. So far, the PubMed database has no research on the role of genetic polymorphism and expression of proteins from the so-called "antigen processing machinery" in tissues with an ectopic endometrium. Since there are studies confirming the exfoliation of pro-inflammatory cytokine receptors such as TNFRα by ERAP from the cell surface, we also want to see how the level of these aminopeptidases will affect the pro-and anti-inflammatory status of patients with endometriosis. We will examine the level of ERAP1, ERAP2 and LNPEP as well as the pro-and anti-inflammatory profile in the plasma of patients and in the peritoneal fluid. The concentration of aminopeptidases will be tested by ELISA method, while the level of pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines by testing multiple cytokines simultaneously on the Luminex. In the next stage of the study, we will determine HLA class I expression on CD8 + and NK cells in the peripheral blood (by flow cytometry) to see if HLA class I expression is altered in patients compared to healthy women. We also want to deepen the analysis of HLA-G gene polymorphisms in the 3'UTR (sequencing method) that may affect miRNA binding, leading to increased mRNA degradation and decreased HLA-G production. Therefore, we will also examine the level of the soluble HLA-G molecule in the plasma of patients and in the peritoneal fluid. Perhaps our research will contribute to understanding the mechanisms related to the development of endometriosis, and thus help in the treatment of these patients. The use of ERAP inhibitors seems to be a promising method of treatment in the case of overexpression of these proteins. In the final stage of the project, we plan to create an algorithm to predict (based on selected immunological genetic and protein factors) in patients whether they will develop a mild or advanced form of the disease. This algorithm will be created with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning methods.

Conditions to be met by the Candidate: 

  • Only a person who does not hold a doctoral degree and is not a doctoral school participant may enter the competition;
  • The competition may be entered by a person who obtains a master's degree in biology, biotechnology or other related before 30 November 2022.
  • A person with knowledge of molecular biology and ELISA methods is welcome.

Criteria and method of assessing Candidates:

During the recruitment process, the Candidate will be assessed in accordance with the criteria for recruitment to the Doctoral School and in the scope enabling the award of the NCN scholarship, taking into account the overall assessment of the Candidate's suitability for the implementation of the tasks provided for in the research project entitled "Elements of the HLA class I antigen processing machinery as factors involved in the pathomechanism and progression of endometriosis".

Doctoral student's duties: 

  • ERAP1, ERAP2, LNPEP genotyping in women with endometriosis and control women by Real-Time PCR.
  • ELISA tests for ERAP1, ERAP2, LNPEP in plasma and peritoneal fluid in women with endometriosis and healthy women.
  • Preparation of DNA samples for HLA class I testing using the NGS method.
  • Study of methylation of selected genes.
  • Development of research results for reporting and presentation of results at scientific conferences.

Scholarship:


A doctoral student will receive a doctoral scholarship from the National Science Center on the basis of the Act of 20 July 2018 Law on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1668, as amended) and on the basis of the Regulations on awarding funds for the implementation of tasks financed by the National Science Center in the field of research projects, annexed to the Resolution of the Council of the National Science Center No. 49/2020 of April 29, 2020 on amending the Regulations on awarding funds for the implementation of tasks financed by the National Science Center in the field of research projects and the Regulations on awarding research scholarships in research projects financed by the National Science Center of March 14, 2019.

The approximate amount of the doctoral scholarship determined in accordance with Art. 209 paragraph. 1 of the Act of July 20, 2018 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1668, as amended) will currently amount to:

a) PLN 2,371.70 gross per month until the month in which the mid-term evaluation of the doctoral student at the doctoral school will be carried out,

b) PLN 3,653.70 gross monthly after the month in which the mid-term evaluation of the doctoral student at the doctoral school was conducted.

The doctoral scholarship will be paid after all components are deducted, in accordance with applicable regulations. In particular, the funds allocated to the doctoral scholarship will cover the costs of compulsory social insurance and, upon request, the costs of sickness insurance.

Submitting an application: 

Applications of Candidates for admission to the School should be submitted by 20/11/2022, by 15:00:

  • in person at the seat of the School (INTiBS PAN ul. Okólna 2 in Wrocław) from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, or
  • electronically to the address (with the annotation ENDO recruitment), the original documents should be delivered before starting the education.

For more information, please contact dr hab. Izabela Nowak (e-mail: , tel. 694588061).

Required documents:

  • an application for admission to the WDS IPAS together with a statement that you have read the rules of recruitment to the WDS IPAS;
  • a completed personal questionnaire containing a list of scientific publications, scholarships and awards, a list of conferences in which the Candidate participated, together with the titles and authors of the speeches, in accordance with the document Principles of recruitment to the Wrocław Doctoral School of Institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences for the academic year 2022/23;
  • a letter of application containing a short description of scientific interests and achievements as well as justification of the intention to start education at the doctoral school;
  • a statement that in the event of admission to WDS IPAS, HIIET will be the only doctoral school in which the candidate will study;
  • a copy of the diploma confirming graduation or a certificate of obtaining a master's degree in biology or biotechnology;
  • a copy (copy) of the entire index of first and second-cycle studies (or uniform master's studies), or a diploma supplement with grades for the entire studies, or a student grade card for all years of study confirmed by the dean's office;
  • English language certificate at the B2 level or higher (does not apply to candidates who passed the final exam at this level during their studies);
  • one or more letters of recommendation (sent directly to the address below);

Information clause:

Based on Article. 13 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46 / EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (Journal of Laws UE L 119 of 04/05/2016, p. 1), hereinafter referred to as "GDPR", I would like to inform you that:

  • The administrator of your personal data is the Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Wrocław, ul. Rudolf Weigl 12, 53-114 Wrocław.
  • The administrator of personal data can be contacted by letter to the address given in point 1 above, or by phone at 71 3709940, and the data protection officer appointed by him can be contacted in all matters regarding data processing via the e-mail account: iod @ hirszfeld.pl or by post to the registered office address.
  • Personal data will be processed in order to perform the administrator's tasks related to recruitment for a research project entitled "Elements of the HLA class I antigen processing machinery as factors involved in the pathomechanism and progression of endometriosis" commissioned by the National Science Center (grant no. 2021/43/B/NZ5/00328) and to the Wrocław Doctoral School of Institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, thus Your personal data will be processed on the basis of the Act of 20 July 2018 Law on Higher Education and Science (Article 6 (1) (c) of the GDPR), the Controller's legitimate interest in the implementation of the research project (Article 6 (1)) f GDPR) and in connection with their necessity to conclude the NCN scholarship agreement (Article 6 (1) (b) of the GDPR).
  • Providing your personal data by you is voluntary, but necessary to achieve the above-mentioned purposes.
  • Personal data collected in the current recruitment process will be kept during the recruitment period.
  • The person whose data is processed has the right to: access personal data, request the rectification of personal data, request the deletion of personal data, request to limit the processing of personal data, object to the processing of data due to a special situation.
  • The person whose data is processed also has the right to lodge a complaint with the President of the Personal Data Protection Office, if it is found that the Administrator has breached the provisions on the protection of personal data.
  • As a result of processing, decisions will not be made in an automated manner (without human intervention), including not based on profiling.
  • Personal data may be made available to our authorized employees, processors, i.e. those performing activities on our behalf (eg IT and accounting services), and the personal data of a Candidate selected in the competition may then be made available to third parties authorized by law.