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Structural and time-resolved studies of phage replication in bacterial biofilm

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, October 31, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

When Staphylococcus aureus cells form a biofilm in the human body they become shielded from the immune system and highly resistant to antibiotics. Current therapeutic options against biofilms are limited to the long-term application of a combination of several antibiotics in high doses or the surgical removal of infected tissues.

The student will study the mechanisms that phages from the family Myoviridae, natural predators of bacteria, have evolved to infect biofilms to identify new strategies for the development of antimicrobial compounds or phage therapy. He/she will use focused ion beam milling in combination with cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) and single particle reconstruction methods to study the replication cycle of phage phi812 in S. aureus cells growing in a biofilm. He/she will complement the inherently static cryo-electron microscopy analyses with time-resolved light sheet fluorescence microscopy observations of the spread of the phage infection within a biofilm. Phi812 is a potential phage therapy agent for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus infections.

Keywords: bacterial biofilm, phage therapy, ion beam milling, cryo-electron tomography, fluorescence microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, virology, antibiotic-resistance

HOW TO APPLY: Register for this call using the registration form at
and submit required documents to receive support with the preparation of the application and all formalities. Your application package will be forwarded to the supervisor for preliminary revision.
Applicants who wish to pursue a degree at the CEITEC PhD programme must hold the equivalent of a Master’s degree (MSc) in similar field (four or five year undergraduate degree). The application can be submitted before obtaining the Master’s degree, however, the applicant should obtain the degree within five month after the application deadline.

Funding Notes

Admission for studies, student registration for the full-time study programme and proper fulfilment of student duties constitute the student’s right to a regular scholarship of 22 000 CZK (850 EUR). Information is available at View Website

Living costs and other practicalities available at View Website

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