PhD student | Antibiotic transport channels of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB) and estimated to be responsible for the death of 1.4 million people each year. Although the need for development of new antibiotics and vaccines is therefore obvious, the solution is not easy. M. tuberculosis is a persistent bacterium with an unusual and highly impermeable cell envelope that protects the bacterium from both the immune system and antibiotics.
Recently, we have found a new compound that sensitizes M. tuberculosis to antibiotics. Understanding the mode-of-action of this compound will reveal critical insights in how the mycobacterial cell wall integrity is maintained and which structural weak points can be targeted to break through this resistance mechanism. Secondly, recent breakthrough papers have indicated that PPE proteins form the cell wall channel proteins that had remained elusive for long. A better understanding of these cell wall transport proteins and especially the nature of the interactions with anti-bacterial compounds will accelerate TB drug research.
Our hypothesis is that by understanding the permeability and transport characteristics of the M. tuberculosis cell wall we will be able to design better antibiotics.
To achieve this we have a dual approach:
Study the characteristics of the recently identified transport channels of M. tuberculosis.
Study the effect and mode-of action of a new compound that sensitizes M. tuberculosis to antibiotics.
We are looking for a candidate with the following qualities:
You have or will soon obtain a MSc degree in molecular biology or related field;
You have hands-on experience with molecular biology (protein and DNA work) and/or microbiology;
You are a talented, ambitious and highly motivated researcher, who is curious and a team player;
You have good communication skills in English.
Your work environment
The department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control (MMI) of the Amsterdam University medical center (location VUmc) has great expertise in bacterial protein secretion systems and using these systems to understand host-pathogen interactions and antibiotic development (see for instance Bunduc CM et al. Nature 593:445-4483:181 and Ho VQT et al. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 65:e01445). The project is in collaboration with Prof Dirk J Slotboom of Groningen University and funded by a ZonMW grant. The MMI department is embedded within the Amsterdam Infection & Immunity Institute (AI&II).
Working at Amsterdam UMC means working in an inspiring and professional environment where developing one`s talents and academic skills are encouraged. We offer you ample opportunity for development, deepening and broadening, additional training, and a place to grow!
Salary Scale PHD: 2495 tot 3196 euro gross when employed full-time (depending on qualifications and experience).
The monthly wage will increase yearly to the maximum salary in the fourth year of 3,196 € gross per month.
In addition, we offer:
– Additional benefits include an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday pay.
– Your pension premium will be paid by us for 2/3.
– We reimburse 75% of your OV travel costs (commuting costs).
The appointment will be for a period of 1 year with potential for extension to a total duration of 4 years.
For more information about our employment conditions, please visit our website.
For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a VOG (a declaration of good behaviour).
The preferred starting date for this position is October/November 2021, but is negotiable.
The first round of interviews will probably take place at September 17th & 22th 2021. We kindly ask you to take this into account.
Information and application
Don’t hesitate to call us!
If you’re interested about this position, you can contact Wilbert Bitter, via telephone number +31 20 598 65 62.
If you need more information about the application procedure, contact Brend de Jong, corporate recruiter at 020-4448704.
You can apply till 8 September 2021 by using the apply button.
Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.