About the Project
Doctoral Researcher (f/div/m) Fungal Informatics
for three years initially.
Research Areas: Bioinformatics, metagenomics, microbial ecology
This project is part of a newly established research group using computational and experimental approaches to understand how ecological interactions shape human pathogenicity in fungi.
Fungal infections of humans are an underappreciated problem and are responsible for more deaths each year than tuberculosis and malaria. Interestingly, most of the fungi that cause human infection humans live primarily in the environment, outside of human conditions and selective pressures. The ability of these organisms to infect humans is thought to arise though their interactions with other microorganisms in the environment, including bacteria, amoeba, and other fungi. Working in close collaboration with experimental scientists, the successful candidate will use genomic, transcriptomic, and metagenomic approaches to define the microbial consortia that human-pathogenic fungi such Aspergillus fumigatus, Rhizopus spp., and Fusarium spp. participate in and examine how these interactions shape their ability to cause human disease using synthetic microbial consortia.
The field of study:
The successful candidate will investigate how environmental fungi cause human disease using genomic, transcriptomic, and metagenomic approaches. The main foci of the project are:
• Defining metagenomic communities and microbial interaction networks involving human-pathogenic fungi.
• Delineating shared and niche-specific patterns among ecological and human-associated environments.
• Master’s degree (or equivalent) in bioinformatics, computational biology, systems biology, computer science, or a related discipline.
• Knowledge and expertise in the analysis of biological high-throughput data.
• Knowledge in statistical methods in the context of biological systems.
• Experience with programming (Python, Perl, R, C++).
• Very good communication skills in English.
The successful candidate will be joining the newly established Microverse Junior Research Group Fungal Informatics led by Dr. Amelia Barber and hosted by Assoc. Prof. Gianni Panagiotou and the Systems Biology & Bioinformatics Group (SBI) at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology—Hans Knöll Institute in Jena, Germany. SBI is a multidisciplinary group focused on understanding the role of the microbiome in metabolic disease, cancer, infection, and environmental microbial communities.
SBI is currently coordinating the Horizon 2020 Innovative Training Network “BestTreat” with 16 international
partners, is a member of the DFG Cluster of Excellence “Balance of the Microverse”, of the Hong Kong Area of Excellence “Institute of Metabolic Diseases”, of the DFG Collaborative Research Center/Transregio “FungiNet” and of the Collaborative Research Fund “MarineGEO Hong Kong”, all related to the integration of phenotypic, genomic and microbiome data using machine learning models and network based analysis. The successful candidate will be fully integrated in the SBI and benefit from shared samples, data, and methods with the other PhD students and post-doctoral researchers of the group.
We offer a convivial work atmosphere in an interdisciplinary and international research environment. The Leibniz-HKI is embedded in the outstanding scientific environment of the Beutenberg Campus providing state-of-art research facilities and a highly integrative network of life science groups. The group is part of the Microverse Cluster of Excellence and the PhD candidate will become a member of the Jena School of Microbial Communication and have the option to participate in the structured program of the International Leibniz Research School.
Assoc. Prof. Gianni Panagiotou | +49 3641 532 1759 | [Email Address Removed]
Dr. Amelia Barber | +49 3641 532 1597 | [Email Address Removed]
Complete applications in English should include a cover letter with a brief statement of experience and motivation, CV, certificates, transcripts, and the contact information of two possible referees. Application should be submitted by June 25, 2020 via the Leibniz-HKI online application system.
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