Postdoc Scientist

: Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU)
: 30 Nov 2023
30 / December / 2023

Postdoc Scientist (based in Vientiane, Laos with 2-year contract)


Postdoctoral position in molecular virology based in Vientiane, Laos

We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious virologist to join our team. We have a fully funded postdoctoral position available for 2 years, to lead the molecular epidemiology of human respiratory syncytial virus and other viruses of medical importance in Laos.

Institution information: This project will be based at Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust-Research Unit (LOMWRU) led by Prof Elizabeth Ashley, involving the virology team of Dr Audrey Dubot-Pérès in close collaboration with the Bacteriology team led by Dr Matthew Robinson.  Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust-Research Unit (LOMWRU) is a Lao-UK project conducting infectious disease research in Laos and global medicine quality research since 2000.The office is based in the Microbiology Laboratory, Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR.


Project summary:

Circulation of influenza and other seasonal respiratory viruses changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an overall drop in incidence in northern and southern hemispheres. This has mainly been attributed to control measures put in place to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Changes in the epidemiology of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and other respiratory viruses reported by numerous countries with disappearance during the early part of the pandemic have in some cases been followed by atypical resurgences. Surveillance of respiratory viruses continues to be important with technological advances such as whole genome sequencing enabling better characterization of variants and transmission dynamics. Very little is known about the genetic epidemiology of RSV and other respiratory viruses in Laos and there is a tremendous need for monitoring strain circulation in Laos and potential emergence of new strains that could have an impact on epidemiology, severity of the disease and the efficacy of antiviral therapeutic, monoclonal antibody treatments and vaccines.

We propose to set up a pilot system for genomic RSV surveillance in children presenting to hospitals in Lao PDR including the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) as the source of RSV RNA for subsequent genome sequencing using MinION Mk1B sequencer (Oxford Nanopore). Our main objective is to set up a pipeline for providing RSV epidemiological and genomic data from hospitals and remote areas to health authorities to help in public health decision-making. This approach would be a scalable national surveillance system at sentinel sites, and could eventually be applied to other viruses of medical importance in Laos.



Primary responsibilities will include

  1. following up of sample collection and screening by real-time PCR
  2. setting up whole genome amplification and library building protocols for RSV and other pathogens according to the need for other on-going activities in LOMWRU, to perform sequences analysis (phylogenetic analysis, genotyping…) with the support of bioinformatic team.
  3. Writing up scientific article for the valorisation of the research results.
  4. Additional responsibilities will include
  5. performing routine maintenance of laboratory equipment
  6. ordering lab supplies, training technical staff
  7. handling other duties as assigned.

Experiments will be performed in BSL2 research labs. Training will be given. 



  1. Applicants should have a strong background in virology and molecular biology.
  2. Experience in bacteriology and/or bioinformatic and/or using MinION sequencer would be an advantage but is not essential.
  3. Candidates should have an outstanding track record from their undergraduate and PhD studies, and this should be reflected in their publication record.


Essential Criteria

  • PhD in virology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, or related subject
  • Familiarity with molecular biological techniques
  • Good spoken and written English
  • Capable of troubleshooting research work on an independent basis 
  • Good team player


Desirable Criteria

  • Good knowledge of bioinformatic softwares for sequencing data analysis
  • Good skill in writing scientific article
  • Experience of working in SE Asia


How to apply:

Please send your CV, letter of intent and the names and addresses of three references to

Audrey Dubot-Pérès and Sengmany Symanivong

Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust-Research Unit (LOMWRU)

Emails: Audrey@tropmedres.ac; Sengmany@tropmedres.ac

Contact : Audrey@tropmedres.ac; Sengmany@tropmedres.ac


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