The Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) has openings for two postdoctoral candidates to join new, innovative teams based at our state-of-the-art facility in Durban, South Africa.

We offer the unique opportunity to work on central aspects of HIV and TB infection through access to human tissue samples. The overall focus of our work is to understand the human tissue resident immune response during these infections. Although tissue compartments play a central role in understanding the response to HIV and TB, most studies to date have focussed on responses located in peripheral blood. Our work aims to better understand the immune responses located in human tissue that are involved in the effector functions directly related to disease pathology.

The focus of the postdoctoral positions will be:

  1. To study the functional HIV specific T-cell responses located in lymphoid tissue (tonsils, lymph nodes) and matched blood
  2. To study the role of innate immune cells, including innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), in HIV driven gut pathology from gut pinch biopsies and matched blood samples. (Wellcome Trust funded).
  3. The study of resident TB specific T and B cells in human TB infected lung tissue (Gates funded position)
  4. Implementation of a bio-electrospray 3-dimensional tissue-like cell culture system for the in vitro study of tissue resident responses (UK MRC funded position in collaboration with the University of Southampton)

Candidates will receive a generous stipend, and will benefit from an integrated network of innovative international and local research collaborations that combine unique human tissue samples and state of the art technology. Incumbents will be based in an established lab which is equipped with flow cytometers, cell sorters and immunohistochemistry equipment including laser capture micro-dissection. The positions will be based in the joint laboratories of Dr Henrik Kløverpris and Dr Al Leslie.

(Above: Dr Al Leslie in the lab at Africa Health Research Institute)

The positions are fulltime and are available from March 1, 2016.


  • PhD in relevant scientific area with a focus on immunology
  • Expertise in basic immunological assays and experience with flow cytometry
  • Hands-on experience with cell culture assays of primary immune cells
  • Experience with bioinformatic tools and immunohistochemistry is an advantage but not essential
  • Ability to work independently and draft own manuscripts
  • Excellent written and communication skills in English
  • Good interpersonal skills with ability to work in a team

Apply to and with the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of motivation including a brief description of project-related research experience (maximum 1-2 pages)
  • Complete publication list
  • Full contact details of two to three references. Letters of recommendation may be included

About the Africa Health Research Institute

The KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for TB-HIV and Africa Centre for Population Health have joined to form an exciting new interdisciplinary research institute, the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI). We do cutting-edge research that ranges from lab bench to population, applying the latest scientific innovations in the heart of the HIV and tuberculosis co-epidemic. Our aim is to become a source of fundamental discoveries into the susceptibility, transmission and cure of HIV and TB and related diseases, seeking ways to improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Another of the major missions of the Africa Health Research Institute is training the next generation of outstanding African scientists. The new venture is made possible through grants from Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), with UCL (University College London) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) as significant academic partners.