PhD candidate, the intracellular fate of pathogenic mycobacteria at Vrije Uni, Netherlands 2022

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PhD candidate, the intracellular fate of pathogenic mycobacteria at Faculty of Science, Amsterdam Institute for Life and Environment (A-LIFE), Vrije University, Netherlands 2022

Qualification Details

MSc-degree in biology, biomedical sciences, life sciences or a related discipline (also candidates close to graduating are encouraged to apply).

  • Strong motivation to pursue a research career
  • Theoretical knowledge of microbiology and bacterial genetics
  • Practical experience in molecular and cellular biology
  • Affinity and preferably experience with molecular cloning and protein purification
  • English conversation and presentation skills
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English

Responsibilities/Job Description

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated PhD candidate for a 4-year project in the field of molecular microbiology that will be carried out at the section Molecular Microbiology of the new Amsterdam Institute for Life and Environment (A-LIFE), Faculty of Science of the Vrije Universiteit, in the team of Dr. Edith Houben. JOB DESCRIPTION “Live or let die: The intracellular fate of pathogenic mycobacteria” is project by a national consortium funded by the Dutch Research Council (OCENW.XL21.XL21.006). Mycobacteria are best known for the notorious pathogen that causes tuberculosis. However, several other nontuberculous mycobacterial species are emerging as important opportunistic pathogens of humans and are difficult to treat due to antibiotic resistance. All pathogenic mycobacteria share the ability to adopt an intracellular life style inside host immune cells, the macrophages. We aim to elucidate the bacterial and host factors responsible for this host-pathogen interplay and use the resulting knowledge to develop new ways to treat these infections. Your duties The PhD candidate will (i) investigate the role of mycobacterial protein secretion systems, called type VII secretion systems, in the intracellular localization of Mycobacterium avium, (ii) determine the proteins that are secreted by type VII secretion systems in vivo and (iii) assess the location and interaction of several of these extracellular proteins with host factors. The goal is to unravel the similarities and differences with other, better studied, mycobacteria, like Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium marinum. To this end, genetic and biochemical approaches will be combined with fluorescence imaging techniques during infection of human macrophages. The planned starting date for the project is 1 February 2023.

How to Apply?

Application Method: online_applicationRef. No. -

Application Procedure

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button until 10/11/2022 and upload your documents including:

  • motivation letter
  • your CV (including your education history, short summary of Master thesis and other research experience, a list of peer-reviewed publications)
  • at least 2 reference contacts
Please do not apply through mail, only applications through the VU application system will be considered.

About the Department/Section/Group

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad. Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students. Amsterdam Institute for Life and Environment (A-LIFE) A-LIFE brings together the groups of Molecular Cell Biology (of which Molecular Microbiology is a part), Environment & Health, and Ecological Sciences, with the aim to advance the fundamental understanding of the interplay between life and its environment. A-LIFE seeks to connect properties and emergent behaviors across all scales, from molecules to ecosystems, including human populations. The research of the department covers a broad range of research topics, including ecology and evolution, microbiology, (eco)toxicology and analytical chemistry of pollutants, global change biology, and biotechnology, and the associated state-of-the-art methods and technologies, both computational and experimental. In the section Molecular Microbiology, the major current research theme is bacterial cell envelopes: biogenesis, structure, mechanisms of transport and functions in host-pathogen interactions, as well as exploitation for the development of antibiotics/vaccines, and applications in biotechnology.

Note or Other details

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. You will be part of a collaborative, enthusiastic team consisting of multiple PhD-students and experienced post-docs in which we collectively work on important research questions. The salary will be in accordance with Dutch university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years. Additionally, the VU Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Contact Details

If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact: Name: Dr. Edith Houben Position: Universitair Hoofddocent (Associate professor)E-mail: [email protected]