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Post-doctoral position on epidemiology

A post-doctoral position is proposed at the Unit BIOEPAR to work on "Epidemio-genetic modelling to control the spread of paratuberculosis in a metapopulation of cattle herds "

Troupeau de vache paissant. © INRA

Research Unit : UMR1300 BioEpAR (INRA/Oniris) http://nantes.inra.fr/bioepar/
Full Address : Oniris Chantrerie, CS40706, F-44307, Nantes
Contact : Christine FOURICHON, christine.fourichon@oniris-nantes.fr
Title of the proposal : Epidemio-genetic modelling to control the spread of paratuberculosis in a metapopulation of cattle herds
Location:  Oniris Chantrerie, Nantes, France
Expected starting date : 1st trimester 2015
Duration : 18 months
Salary : Basic gross salary around 2500 €/month (possibility to apply to Agreenskills)

 

Expected skills :

  • PhD in applied mathematics, physics, mathematical biology, computer or computational science, or in ecology or epidemiology
  • Experience in complex system modelling and biological data analyses
  • Significant computational/programming skills (C/C++, Perl/Python)
  • Interest in infectious diseases, epidemiology, ecology, interdisciplinary research
  • Strong organizational and written/oral communication skills
  • Be highly motivated towards scientific research

 

Proposal description : This position is part of a project (PICSAR; funded by INRA) which aims at developing innovative approaches to manage paratuberculosis (or Johne’s disease) in ruminant populations. This endemic disease of ruminants is due to Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map). It induces large economic losses in dairy farming systems. In cattle, innovative approaches are needed to manage Map spread, combining the management of host response to infection thanks to genetic selection and the reduction of host exposure thanks to biosecurity measures (hygiene, test & cull, animal trade management). The objective of the position is to evaluate which genetic determinism of host response would enable obtaining a response to selection at the population scale, using a modelling framework.
Three steps have been identified. (1) to elaborate an epidemio-genetic model  that accounts for the host response to Map infection to represent Map spread within a dairy cattle herd.. An existing mechanistic and stochastic model of Map spread within a dairy cattle herd – developed in the lab - will be adapted to achieve this first step. (2) to integrate in the model assumptions about the genetic determinism of host response. (3) to implement and computationally analyze the model.
To calibrate the epidemiological model, parameters will be defined based on data from commercial herds in Western France. Assumptions on genetic determinism and selection will be defined in collaboration with researchers in cattle genetics and genomics who are partners in the project (UMR GABI, INRA Jouy-en-Josas).
 
Subjects : Integrated and sustainable management of animal health

Download : Post-doctoral position Paratuberculose