PhD in Microbiology, systems biology, biophysics or biotechnology: Germany

To strengthen our team in the division “Biodeterioration and Reference Organisms” in Berlin-Steglitz we are looking for a

PhD student (m/f/d) in the field of Microbiology, systems biology, biophysics or biotechnology / bioengineering sciences
Salary group 13 TVöD
Temporary for 36 months
The working time is 65 %

The Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und ‑prüfung (BAM) is a materials research organization in Germany. Our mission is to ensure safety in technology and chemistry. We perform research and testing in materials science, materials engineering and chemistry to improve the safety of products and processes. At BAM we do research that matters. Our work covers a broad array of topics in the focus areas of energy, infrastructure, environment, materials, and analytical sciences.

We are looking for talented people to join us.

Biofilms are multicellular assemblies of bacteria in which cell-cell interactions via metabolism and signaling lead to emergent structural and functional properties. Biofilms are notoriously difficult to kill with antimicrobial substances: a phenomenon that is known as tolerance. Tolerance is an emergent multicellular trait, since biofilms show much greater tolerance than planktonic cells. Tolerance is distinct from antimicrobial resistance, but it can be a stepping stone on the pathway to resistance. The PhD project focuses on the molecular mechanisms that lead to emerging antimicrobial tolerance in bacterial biofilms. Previous studies suggest a key role for multi-drug efflux pumps, both via efflux-mediated spatial interactions and via a coupling between efflux and the generation of non-growing, extremely tolerant (persister) cells. The aim of the project is to disentangle the relationship between spatial position, efflux and tolerance of bacteria in biofilms using different biofilm models systems, single-cell experiments and live-cell microscopic imaging.

The position is part of the collaborative project ‘Antibiotic tolerance of biofilms emerging from multicellular effects of antibiotic efflux’, together with the group of Prof. Dr. Rosalind Allen at the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena. You will interact closely with the Allen group who will develop mathematical models and computational data analysis. More broadly, you will interact with other researchers within the priority program “Emergent functions of bacterial multicellularity” (SPP 2389) funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The focus of SPP 2389 is to investigate spatially structured microbial populations, focusing on the physiological benefits and molecular mechanisms of the emergent functions as the driving forces of bacterial multicellularity, and the architecture, dynamics and biophysical properties of the multicellular forms as the structural framework from which a multicellular function can emerge.

More information and how to apply
Share this opportunity