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Spore surface attributes as virulence determinants in mucormycosis

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, November 11, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Fungi of the order Mucorales are emerging pathogens and cause life-threatening infections in both animals and humans. Our working group studies the basic principles of virulence in the human pathogenic zygomycete (Mucorales) Lichtheimia corymbifera. In order to strengthen our team we seek a young scientist who is interested in contributing to the establishment of a genetic transformation system also with regard to medical and pharmaceutical applications. Differentially expressed genes encoding stress factors during the interaction of L. corymbifera with murine alveolar macrophages will be identified in existing genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics data, heterologously expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and deleted in L. corymbifera and phagocytes followed by infection studies to monitor adherence, phagocytosis, phagolysosomal fusion, survival and virulence in invertebrate and/or murine infection models. The project is ambitious and aims to collect essential key players in our understanding of the pathogenesis of life-threatening zygomycetous pathogens.
We expect:
• a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Natural Sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary or Human Medicine). Candidates about to earn their degree are welcome to apply.
• desirable methodological skills: a solid background in standard techniques of molecular biology and microbiology as well as genetic engineering of microorganisms and pigment extraction or bioinformatics with skills genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics analysis are expected. Knowledge of genome assembly and annotation, qPCR/Northern analyses and hands‐on experience in fluorescence microscopy, cell culture techniques are advantageous.
• record of prior publications, preferably in generation of genetically modified organisms (microorganisms/cell lines), molecular biology, microbiology, -omics applications, pigment and macromolecular biochemistry, pharmacological applications of biopolymers are beneficial
• Highly motivated individuals with an interest in joining one of the interdisciplinary research areas of the Microverse Cluster
• The ability to work creatively and independently towards developing your own research project
• An integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in the dynamic Microverse community
• Excellent English communication skills, both written and spoken
We offer:
• a highly communicative atmosphere within an energetic scientific network providing top-level research facilities
• a comprehensive mentoring program and soft skill courses for early career researchers
• Jena – City of Science: a young and lively town and a vibrant local cultural agenda

The position will be financially supported corresponding to TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees). The Friedrich Schiller University Jena is an equal opportunity employer. Disabled persons with comparable qualifications will receive preferential status.
Applications are exclusively accepted via the JSMC Online Application Portal:
Selected applicants will be invited to a recruitment meeting in Jena early December 2019. Awarding decisions will be announced shortly thereafter, and candidates are expected to be available to start their projects in January, 2020.
Application deadline: 11th November 2019

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