PhD position Molecular Microbiology: The Netherlands

Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam is a leading, innovative and growing university that is at the heart of society and actively contributes to new developments in teaching and research. The section Molecular Microbiology of the VU is offering  a PhD position.

Project description

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), a disease responsible for 1.5 million deaths per year. In recent years, different classes of drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains have emerged, making the discovery of novel anti-TB drugs a global priority.

A major problem in identifying new compounds active against M. tuberculosis is their highly impermeable cell envelope, which significantly complicates drug development. Especially the mycobacterial outer membrane forms a permeability barrier that restricts access of hydrophilic compounds to the periplasm and cytosol.

In this project, we will use genetic and biochemical approaches to decipher which protein(s) allow(s) the uptake of nutrients and antibiotics across the outer membrane. The identification and characterization of these transport channels will help in the design of new drugs in our fight against tuberculosis.

Candidate eligibility 

  • The applicant has or will soon obtain a MSc degree in molecular biology, biomedical sciences or related field;
  • The applicant is interested in research in the field of microbiology;
  • The applicant is a talented and highly motivated researcher, who is a team player and has organization skills;
  • The applicant has good communication skills in English.

The appointment will be initially for 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

For additional information please contact: Prof. Wilbert Bitter (

To apply

  • Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and one or two references (names and e-mail addresses).
  • Please send your application before 1 March 2018 to:
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