Doctoral Researcher (f/div/m) in fungal immune evasion mechanisms

Einsatzort: Jena

Job Advertisement HKI-36/2021

The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute (Leibniz-HKI, investigates the pathobiology of human-pathogenic fungi and identifies targets for the development of novel natural product-based antibiotics. Talented and highly qualified candidates are invited to apply for a position in a newly established Junior Research Group of Dr. Matthew G. Blango as a

Doctoral Researcher (f/div/m) in fungal immune evasion mechanisms

for three years initially.

Research Areas:

Microbiology, Mycology, RNA Biochemistry.

This project is part of the DFG-funded Priority Program SPP 2225 "Exit strategies of intracellular pathogens"

Project background:

Candida albicans is a human pathogenic fungus, responsible for superficial and life-threatening systemic infections with high morbidity and mortality. Macrophages as part of the innate immune response are central players in the defense against fungal infection. C. albicans, however, has developed immune evasion mechanisms. The fungus can survive in macrophage phagosomes and can grow forming filaments inside macrophages, allowing C. albicans to ultimately escape from the macrophages. This is coupled with macrophage inflammatory responses such as inflammasome activation, and host cell death. Several studies suggest that C. albicans filamentation plays an important role for escape from macrophages by causing phagosomal rupture, inducing host cell damage and killing.

In this project, we will investigate the triggers for C. albicans hypha formation inside macrophages, study how C. albicans acquires nutrients inside macrophages, identify and characterize fungal factors associated with phagosomal damage, host cell killing and escape, and explore how host cells can be treated to limit or block intracellular fungal proliferation and escape.

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: microbiology, infection biology, mycology, molecular biology or immunology.

Practical experience in cell culture, fluorescence microscopy or molecular biology is an advantage. Very good communication skills in English are compulsory.

We offer:

The successful candidate will be hosted in the department Microbial Pathogenicity Mechanisms. 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 dynamic, 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.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hube | +49 3641 532 1400 |

Dr. Lydia Kasper | +49 3641 532 1219 |


Complete applications in English should include a cover letter, a CV containing a complete list of publications, a brief statement of research experiences, the addresses of two possible referees, and should be submitted by September 12, 2021, via the Leibniz-HKI online application system.