FungiNet Doktorandenstelle: Spore surface attributes as virulence determinants in mucormycosis

The incidence of life-threatening infections due to opportunistic fungal pathogens has drastically increased over the past two decades. This increase is associated with excessive mortality and directly related to a growing number of patients at risk. Despite this, the clinical diagnosis of these infections is still difficult and often too late for diagnostics-guided patient management. Options for antifungal therapy are limited. Scientists from two major sites in Germany, Jena and Würzburg, with a research focus on human-pathogenic fungi have joined forces in the CRC/TR FungiNet. Both sites run excellence graduate schools, which organize the training of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers of FungiNet. We aim 1) to identify pathogenicity determinants of C. albicans, A. fumigatus and the emerging fungus Lichtheimia corymbifera, (2) to investigate the specific roles of epithelial barriers, the mechanisms of the innate immunity and contributions of the adaptive immune system to the pathogenesis of fungal infections, (3) to identify common principles of fungal pathogenesis and (4) to use this information for the development of new therapeutic approaches. The affiliated early career program of the Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) offers an ambitious, structured and interdisciplinary post-graduate training based on top-level fundamental research.

Activities and responsibilities

The Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 124 – FungiNet
Pathogenic fungi and their human host: Networks of interaction
invites applications for a
Doctoral Researcher Position (Ref. No. 207/2019)
to conduct research in the group of Dr. Kerstin Voigt on the project

Spore surface attributes as virulence determinants in mucormycosis

Qualification profile

We expect:
  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Natural Sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary or Human Medicine). Candidates about to earn their degree are welcome to apply.
  • desirable methodological skills: a solid background in standard techniques of molecular biology and microbiology as well as genetic engineering of microorganisms and pigment extraction or bioinformatics with skills genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics analysis are expected. Knowledge of genome assembly and annotation, qPCR/Northern analyses and hands‐on experience in fluorescence microscopy, cell culture techniques are advantageous.
  • record of prior publications, preferably in generation of genetically modified organisms (microorganisms/cell lines), molecular biology, microbiology, -omics applications, pigment and macromolecular biochemistry, pharmacological applications of biopolymers are beneficial
  • Highly motivated individuals with an interest in joining one of the interdisciplinary research areas of the Microverse Cluster
  • The ability to work creatively and independently towards developing your own research project
  • An integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in the dynamic Microverse community
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and spoken


We offer:
  • a highly communicative atmosphere within an energetic scientific network providing top-level research facilities
  • a comprehensive mentoring program and soft skill courses for early career researchers
  • Jena – City of Science: a young and lively town and a vibrant local cultural agenda
The positions will be financially supported corresponding to TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees).  The Friedrich Schiller University Jena is an equal opportunity employer. Disabled persons with comparable qualifications will receive preferential status.

Send application to

Applications are exclusively accepted via the JSMC Online Application Portal:
Please familiarize yourself with the currently available doctoral projects ( and the application process as described in the Online Application Portal. Selected applicants will be invited to a recruitment meeting in Jena end of August/ mid-September 2019. Awarding decisions will be announced shortly thereafter, and candidates are expected to be available to start their projects in January, 2020.

Application deadline: 5th August 2019

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: FungiNet Phd 01/2019

About Jena School for Microbial Communication

The Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) is funded by the German Excellence Initiative . It conceptionally combines different research areas (microbial communities, interactions with plant, animal and human hosts and environmental interactions) to a comprehensive picture of microbial communication ( JSMC is an ambitious Graduate School currently hosting over...
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