PhD student in Molecular Microbiology: Belgium

In the research group of prof. René De Mot (Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics (CMPG), Department of Microbial and Molecular Sciences), a position is available for a highly motivated researcher in the framework of an EOS project (The Excellence of Science). In this project, the ecological roles of cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs) from plant-beneficial rhizosphere-associated bacteria are explored.


The PhD student will participate in the study of interactions between bacteria that are mediated by CLPs. The target molecules comprise CLPs of Pseudomonas identified by consortium partners but also envisages identification of novel CLPs by activity screening of a rhizosphere strain collection and by genome mining of Pseudomonas genomes. The PhD student will focus on the genetic characterization of such CLP systems and the construction of defined regulatory and biosynthetic mutants for chemical-biological analysis in collaborating labs. Within CMPG, the PhD student will closely collaborate with a post-doc involved in the project. Part of the work will be carried out at Ghent University in the Laboratory of Phytopathology, headed by prof. Monica Höfte, who will act as co-supervisor of the doctoral project.


We are looking for a motivated person with a Master’s degree in bioengineering, biotechnology, molecular biology, or equivalent, and with a strong academic record. The successful candidate should have a solid theoretical background and practical skills in molecular (micro)biology and genetics with a keen interest in bacterial metabolism and chemical biology. Good communication skills in English are important for interaction with other researchers in the consortium.

The PhD student will participate in an interdisciplinary project that involves collaboration with partner groups at the University of Leuven, University of Liège, Ghent University, and University of Freiburg (Germany), bringing together expertise in microbiology, plant physiology, biochemistry, membrane biology and chemistry.

In addition to participation at regular meetings within the inter-university project, opportunity will be given to attend international meetings.

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