Doctoral Researcher (f/div/m) in Adaptive Pathogenicity Strategies: Germany

Doctoral Researcher (f/div/m) in Adaptive Pathogenicity Strategies for three years initially

Research Areas: Microbiology, Mycology, Immunology

This project is part of a newly established Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)-funded Emmy Noether research group that will investigate fungal adaptation to the inflammatory environment to better understand pathogenesis and treat fungal infections.

Project background

The immune system possesses elegant strategies to cope with potentially harmful invading microorganisms. Nevertheless, pathogens themselves have evolved mechanisms to deal with the threats imposed by the immune system. Yeasts like Candida albicans are common commensals of the human microbiota, yet also major opportunistic fungal pathogens that frequently cause superficial and even fatal infections. The commensal co-existence with the human host allows co-evolution of fungal adaptation strategies in line with the threats imposed by the host, which are particularly represented by the immune system.

In this project, the successful applicant will investigate how C. albicans responds and adapts to immune mediators and how this influences commensalism and pathogenicity. The candidate will identify and characterize immune mediators that can induce fungal adaptations, and use in vitro model systems to investigate the impact on pathogenicity mechanisms and commensalism. The overarching goal is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which immune mediators induce fungal adaptations.

Candidate´s profile

We expect a master´s degree (or equivalent) in life sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry, or microbiology). Furthermore, the applicant should be able to perform team-oriented as well as independent work. Experimental background in one or more of the following subjects is beneficial: immunology, microbiology, infection biology. Practical experience in cell culture, microarrays, or fungal genetics is an advantage. Very good communication skills in English are a must.

We offer:

  • The successful candidate will be hosted in the newly established Emmy Noether Junior Research Group of Dr. Mark S. Gresnigt. The Leibniz-HKI is embedded in the outstanding scientific environment of the Beutenberg Campus providing state-of-the-art research facilities and a highly integrative network of life science groups. We offer a multifaceted scientific project with excellent technical facilities, a place in a young, committed team, as well as strong scientific collaborations. The PhD candidate will participate in the structured program of the International Leibniz Research School and become an associated member of the Jena School of Microbial Communication.
  • Salary is paid according to German TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees). As an equal opportunity employer, the Leibniz-HKI is committed to increasing the percentage of female scientists and therefore especially encourages them to apply.

For further information:

Dr. Mark S. Gresnigt | +49 3641 532 1305 |


Complete applications in English should include a CV, a complete list of publications, a brief statement of research experiences, the addresses of two possible referees, and should be submitted by July 2, 2020, via the Leibniz-HKI online application system.

Apply here
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