PhD Position in Transposon-Insertion Sequencing to Identify Novel Antimicrobial Drug Targets

Wageningen University

Netherlands

PhD Position in Transposon-Insertion Sequencing to Identify Novel Antimicrobial Drug Targets

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

An enthusiastic PhD student with preferably an education background in microbiology, molecular biology or biotechnology. 

This position is part of an Innovative Training Network (ITN) on combatting antimicrobial resistance through the identification of innovative drug targets and is funded by the Horizon2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action 2020.

Project Description:

Use of Transposon insertion sequencing (TnSeq) to identify genes which are essential for Streptococcus suis during infection and which increase sensitivity to antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major challenge to human health and infections due to resistant bacteria are predicted to exceed cancer as the primary cause of human mortality by 2050, negatively impacting on world economy and social stability. Prudent use of antimicrobials can slow down the development of AMR, but it cannot solve the challenges caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria (MDR), some of which are resistant to all antimicrobials currently on the market.

ESR2. Genes which are essential for expression of resistance mechanisms in Streptococcus suis
Streptococcus suis is a globally emerging zoonotic pathogen that occurs naturally in the upper respiratory tract, the genital, and the alimentary tract of pigs. S. suis is an important cause of invasive disease in pigs leading to increased use of antibiotics as prophylactic and metaphylactic interventions. S. suis is further an emerging human pathogen in South East Asia, where it causes outbreaks of meningitis in humans leading to high mortality. Antimicrobial resistance is a growing concern in this bacterium and there is a need to find ways to overcome this problem. The project will use transposon (Tn) mutagenesis and Tn insertion-sequencing of mutant libraries in Streptococcus suis to identify gene mutants that sensitize MDR S. suis to existing antibiotics. These genes may also be relevant therapeutic targets for other pathogenic bacteria and will be used for structure-based drug discovery in collaboration with other academic (IRTA) and industrial (Naicons) partners in the project. The PhD candidate will work with molecular biology tools to generate Tn libraries in S. suis, in vivo mimicking models to identify conditional mutants, genetic and biochemical methods to characterise specific mutants, in silico methods and structural biology tools. 

We ask

  • Relevant Batchelor level education (e.g. biology, microbiology, molecular biology and biotechnology, infection biology);
  • A Masters degree, with relevant practical experience (e.g. molecular microbiology, target-based drug discovery);
  • A professional, reliable and organised method of working; 
  • According to the European mobility rules for ITN grants you must not have been resident in the Netherlands for the previous 12 months; 
  • This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.
Mobility and early career requirements

Applicants should comply to the EU rules regarding ITN projects:
https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/guides_for_applicants/h2020-guide-appl-msca-itn_en.pdf

The most important rules are that you should not have a doctoral degree, have obtained your Master degree within the last four years (full-time equivalent research experience) and should not have spent more than 12 months of your time during the last 3 years in The Netherlands.

Be aware that you as (Dutch) applicant are only eligible to be selected if you have been living outside of the Netherlands for 12 months. 

We offer

A full-time appointment (1.0 fte, 38 hours/week) for 4 years. Salary ranges from € 2.395, (gross) in the first year to € 3.061,- (gross) in the fourth year based on full-time employment.

In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance
  • a structural end-of year bonus of 8.3%
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions
  • flexible working hours that we determine together in good consultation
  • excellent pension plan through ABP
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes, e.g. 
  • the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra for extra leave
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan
  • a lively workplace on the Wageningen Campus
  • make use of the sports facilities on campus for a small fee. 
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere, with students and staff from over 100 countries around the world.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in The Netherlands, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 15th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad

Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family. 
 
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

More information

For more information about this position, please send an email to Prof. Jerry Wells office.hmi@wur.nl

For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Martine Schröder, Senior Human Resources Advisor martine.schroder@wur.nl.
 
Do you want to apply?

This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission.
This vacancy is open up to and including 15 February 2021. 
 
Equal opportunities employer

We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.

We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6,500 employees, and 12,500 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at the special career site.

Research group 
 
Research at the Host-Microbe Interactomics (HMI) Group ranges from work on the molecular mechanisms of diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria, to the interactions between pathogenic and beneficial bacteria and their human or animal hosts. The group also conducts research on vaccines and discovery of novel antimicrobials. 
 
The HMI group, employs around 30 persons and combines expertise in cell biology, immunology, molecular microbiology and functional genomics to further our understanding of the molecular interactions occurring in the cross-talk between microbes and their hosts.
 
Wageningen University and Research delivers a substantial contribution to the quality of life. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society and health. Every day, at WUR, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality.

We do the recruiting for this vacancy ourselves. Please do not contact us for sales puroses.

Apply now


In your application, please refer to Professorpositions.com

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