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PhD fellowship in outer membrane vesicles, host defence peptides and host-pathogen interactions

The Department of Pharmacy

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Prof M Van Der Plas No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Copenhagen Denmark Microbiology Molecular Biology Pharmacy Physical Chemistry

About the Project

The Department of Pharmacy is offering a three-year PhD fellowship to investigate the interplay between antimicrobial host defence peptides and bacterial or human outer membrane vesicles, and to investigate their potential for targeted drug delivery. The PhD project will be carried out within the recently established LEO Foundation Center for Cutaneous Drug Delivery (LFCCDD), which integrates several disciplines, including molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, physical chemistry, peptidomics and pharmaceutics, to perform state-of-the-art research and to create innovative solutions within cutaneous drug delivery of both small and large molecules.

The successful applicant will be a member of the Novel Biological Models group and will have the opportunity for cross-disciplinary research in collaboration with the other sections of the Center as well as external collaborators.


The fellowship is available from the 1st of April 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project description

Antibiotic resistance development in bacteria has become an increasing issue in human medicine, animal husbandry and agriculture. As more antibiotics have become ineffective, focus has shifted towards alternative antimicrobial therapies such as host defence peptides (HDPs), which may not only kill a broad spectrum of microbes, including multi-resistant strains, but also modulate host inflammatory responses.

Bacterial and host membrane vesicles (MVs) play important roles during infection. Whereas host MVs are released in response to bacteria and may bind and neutralise bacterial toxins, bacterial MVs may counteract detrimental host responses, bind and disable various antibiotics, and may play a role in antibiotic resistance. However, the interaction between MVs and HDPs is unknown. Therefore, in this project we will focus on understanding the interplay between HDPs and MVs during infection. Additionally, we will study specificity of MVs, to explore their potential for targeted delivery of antimicrobials.

The successful candidate will be a member of the Novel Biological Models group within the LEO Foundation Center for Cutaneous Drug Delivery and will work in close collaboration with a postdoc, who will be hired at the same time. This project, which is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, will be divided into two subprojects: HDP interactions with 1) human MVs or 2) bacterial MVs.

Depending on previous experience, the PhD student will work on one of these parts while the postdoc will be in charge of the other.

Read the full text and apply online

Deadline 31-01-2021


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