Recruiting & Training

I supervise students in the following UofC graduate programs:

Veterinary Medical Sciences , Microbiology and Infectious DiseasesGastrointestinal SciencesBiomedical EngineeringMedical science

For more information on these positions, please email Dr. Jeroen De Buck at jdebuck@ucalgary.ca

Postdocs

If you have a black belt in vaccinology, pathogenomics, molecular microbiology, synthetic biology, or bio-informatics and are interested in any of our main research areas, let us know.

Position available in Johne's disease vaccinology. 

Graduate students

MSc or PhD

Pathogenesis of Staphylococcus chromogenes

An exciting new position for a PhD student or MSc student is available in the department of Production Animal Health at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary (UCVM). The cutting-edge and multidisciplinary research in this dynamic department focuses on the most important diseases of domestic animals. Our lab has >13 years experience in studying many aspects of bovine bacterial infections. We are currently looking for a. graduate student with strong skills or interest in molecular microbiology and pathogenesis. This position is open for people holding a degree in biological sciences, animal sciences, veterinary medicine, health sciences or equivalent degree.

Understanding pathogenesis of Staphylococcus chromogenes in intramammary infections

The successful candidate will receive training in molecular microbiology and intramammary infection biology and will become part of a large, well-funded and dynamic lab specialized in microbial diseases of dairy cattle.

Our goal is to elucidate mechanisms enabling S. chromogenes to be the most prevalent organism in bovine mastitis (and successful in causing persistent subclinical mastitis). In our in-depth studies on genomes of 440 NAS isolates, we determined that closely related S. chromogenes, S. agnetis and S. hyicus have the highest virulence potential (i.e. number of virulence genes), largely due to exotoxins, host evasion and capsular genes, of all non-aureus staphylococci (NAS). However, S. chromogenes (~50% of NAS isolates from milk) does not differ much in virulence factor profile with closely related species S. agnetis (<0.5%) and S. hyicus (<0.1%), which only represent <0.5 and <0.1%, respectively, of NAS isolates. Based on a lack of clear differences in virulence gene profile between S. chromogenes and the other Clade B NAS, despite large prevalence differences, clearly another approach is needed to identify S. chromogenes dominance in causing IMI leading to subclinical mastitis.

In this project, we will derive new knowledge regarding how S. chromogenes colonizes the teat canal and how it survives in the mammary gland, leading to novel interventions/products to specifically eliminate S. chromogenes from the udder without using conventional antimicrobials.      

For more information on these positions, please email Dr. Jeroen De Buck at jdebuck@ucalgary.ca

Check out our publications on mastitis

Discovery and application of mycobacteriophages

An exciting new position for a PhD student or MSc student is available in the department of Production Animal Health at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary (UCVM). Our lab has 15 years of experience in studying many aspects of bovine bacterial infections. We are currently looking for a graduate student with strong skills or interest in microbiology, specifically mycobacteriology. This position is open for people holding a degree in biological sciences, animal sciences, veterinary medicine, health sciences or equivalent degree.

Discovery and application of novel phages to protect dairy calves against Johne's disease

Johne’s disease, caused Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, remains a problem on dairy farms around the world. Western Canada has a particularly high prevalence, despite informed management changes and routine diagnostics. Our group is working on a novel vaccine, as current vaccines do not protect against infection and interfere with diagnostics. But even an ideal vaccine will create an immunity gap, an interval before induced immune responses are protective. Therefore, a metaphylactic approach is needed to ensure that newborn calves are not infected during this vulnerable period. We are proposing the use of mycobacteriophages, viruses that kill Mycobacteria. We propose to investigate the impact of adding mycobacteriophages to colostrum and milk replacer to kill MAP before it can infect calves. For this purpose, we will use a novel large-scale approach to isolate MAP-specific phages and then characterize them genetically and functionally, with an emphasis on resistance and safety. Furthermore, we will determine activity and compatibility with existing diagnostics. Finally, we will assess protection of young calves from MAP experimental infection offered by phage supplementation of colostrum and milk replacer.

Requirements: knowledge, experience or strong interest in microbiology

Image 1 | Image 2

For more information on these positions, please email Dr. Jeroen De Buck at jdebuck@ucalgary.ca

Summer Students

Plenty of opportunities. Some of the funding options here.

img