The focus of this interdisciplinary, multi-Centric project titled: “Novel organ-on-a-chip technology to study extracellular vesicles-mediated cryptic infections in Plasmodium vivax malaria”, funded by “la Caixa Foundation (https://fundacionlacaixa.org/en/caixaresearch-health-research-call-2021-project-malaria),  is to unveil exosome-mediated mechanistic insights of cryptic infections in the human malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax using organ-on-a-chip technology.  

Infectious diseases other than Covid-19 kill over 17 million people a year, an issue aggravated by asymptomatic transmission. Unfortunately, they are mainly endemic to poor regions of the world, and largely neglected. Intercellular communication mediated by extracellular vesicles (EVs) plays a key role in the pathophysiology of infectious diseases, including Plasmodium vivax, the most widely distributed human malaria parasite with a tropism for reticulocytes. Noticeably, parasitized reticulocytes (pRetics) cause severe disease despite low peripheral blood parasitemia. Looking for mechanistic insights to explain this conundrum, we originally postulated that variant surface proteins of P. vivax could mediate cytoadherence to the human spleen and have recently published supportive evidence. Moreover, we have also recently showed that EVs from natural infections facilitate binding of pRetics to human spleen fibroblasts and that P. vivax parasites are always found in the bone marrow of infected patients. 

The overarching hypothesis of HIDDENVIVAX is that extracellular vesicles mediate cryptic infections in the human bone marrow and spleen in P. vivax. To prove it, we will construct functional units of these human organs-on-a-chip. 

This project has received funding from the CaixaResearch Health.





We are looking for two motivated postdoctoral fellows or junior researchers able to conduct independent research work and write scientific reports and publications. Knowledge of written and spoken English is mandatory. Publications in the areas of P. vivax, microfluidics, 3D cultures and/or organs-on-a-chip are assets. Postdoctoral fellows will be based in four different laboratories and Centers: 
I. Plasmodium vivax and exosome research group (https://www.pvrex.org/) at ISGlobal/IGTP (https://www.isglobal.org/) (http://www.germanstrias.org/). 
Direct supervisor: Hernando A del Portillo, Ph.D. (Project Leader)
II. Dynamics of interfaces in nanotechnology, fluidics and biophysics (https://www.nanobarnafluidics.com/index.php), University of Barcelona (https://www.ub.edu/web/portal/en/), Barcelona, Spain.
Direct supervisor: Aurora Hernandez-Machado, Ph.D.  (Co-Principal investigator).
The Centres will provide all necessary facilities, instrumentation and a stimulating scientific environment. 

Postdoc for ISGlobal

Postdoctoral Fellow, ISGlobal/IGTP, Barcelona/Badalona, Spain.

Duration: 3 years 

Start date: October 1st 2021

Profile: candidates should hold a PhD degree in Bio/medical sciences with knowledge and expertise in tissue culture, malaria and bioinformatics. Excellent English communication skills. Mandatory: willingness to spend time in Portugal (up to 3 months) and Thailand (up to six months).

Job description: identifying signaling pathways through single-cell RNAseq, determine exosome molecular signatures through mass spectrometry, high image resolution of exosome interactions with parasites and cells, working with ex vivo erythropoiesis.


Position Reference Code: POSTDOC_HIDDEVIVAX_Ago21

Postdoc for UB

Posdoctoral Fellow, Microfluidics and Nanoscience Group, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 3 years
Start date: October 1st 2021
Profile: candidates should hold a PhD degree in Biomedical engineer or physicist with expertise in microfluidics.  Knowledge on infectious diseases, in vitro culture of cells and organs-on-a-chip will be considered relevant assets 
Job description: Construction of organs-on-a-chip (OOC) of the human bone marrow and spleen as single OOC and multiple OOC closed system. 



Position Reference Code: PD_microfluidics_HIDDEVIVAX_Ago21

The successful candidates will be responsible for:

  • Conduct research within the framework of the group’s research program
  • Establish methods
  • Analyze and publish research results
  • Project leading
  • Actively participate in journal clubs, seminars, tutoring of students etc.
  • Present data at national and international scientific meetings


Applicants must fill in the request form and include one of the following code reference position: POSTDOC_HIDDEVIVAX_Ago21,  PD_microfluidics_HIDDEVIVAX_Ago21,  attach the CV and a Cover Letter indicating the motivation to apply for this position and including the full name and contact details of two approachable academic referees. Each attached document must be named with the candidate name and surname. 

The receipt of applications will be open until September 15th, 2021.

Applications will be accepted until 17.00 CET of the closing date.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Only the applications submitted through the request form will be considered. 

The interviews could be placed during the reception candidatures period.

In ISGlobal we are committed to maintaining and developing a work environment in which the values and principles of our organization are respected and equal opportunities between women and men be promoted in each of the areas in which we operate, not tolerating discrimination based on criteria such as age, sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, disabilities, political leanings, religion or sexual orientation.