PhD position Microbial interactions

The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute – (HKI, investigates the pathobiology of human-pathogenic fungi and identifies targets for the development of novel natural product-based antibiotics. The newly established Junior Research Group Evolution of Microbial Interactions offers
2 PhD positions

starting as soon as possible for three years initially.

The projects aim to determine the evolutionary role of predatory soil amoeba in fungal virulence and exploit their potential to counteract fungal pathogens and are funded by the ESF (European Social Fund).

Research area: Soil amoeba predation imposes a selection pressure on environmental microbes like bacteria or fungi which favors the development or acquisition of microbial virulence factors. The research group has a special focus on the interactions of the model amoeba Dictyostelium as well as its less known fungivorous relative Protostelium mycophaga with environmentally acquired fungal pathogens like Aspergillus fumigatus . Both successful candidates will use state-of-the-art analytical and molecular techniques to identify and isolate bioactive metabolites from amoeba and fungi, define their underlying molecular structures and biological roles during predatory interactions of amoeba and fungi.

Our requirements: We expect a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Life Sciences (e.g. Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry) with a strong background in molecular or analytical techniques. Candidates about to obtain their degree are welcome to apply. First experiences in fungal biology or metabolite identification are advantageous but not required. Applicants should have very good communication skills in English and a high motivation to perform team-oriented as well as independent work.

We offer: The successful candidates will be hosted in the independent Junior Research Group “Evolution of Microbial Interactions” headed by Dr. Falk Hillmann. The HKI is embedded in the outstanding scientific environment of the Beutenberg Campus providing state-of-art research facilities and a highly integrative network of life science groups. We offer a multifaceted scientific project supported by excellent technical facilities, a place in a young, committed team, as well as strong scientific collaborations. As a PhD student, you will be integrated in one of the established graduate schools ILRS ( or JSMC (, which offer extensive mentoring support and provide additional training through a structured onsite programme. Training will include key areas of science and technology, and complementary skills.

Salary is paid according to German TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees). As an equal opportunity employer the HKI is committed to increase the percentage of female scientists and therefore especially encourages them to apply.

Further information: Dr. Falk Hillmann | +49 3641 532 1445 |

Complete applications in English should include a CV, a brief statement of research experiences and interests, a complete list of publications, the addresses of two possible referees, and should be submitted until February 29th, 2016 to referring to HKI job posting No. 2/2016.

Mail address:
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology
– Hans Knöll Institute –
Personnel office
Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 23
07745 Jena

How to apply:
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While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: 2/2016

About Leibniz-Institut für Naturstoff-Forschung und Infektionsbiologie

The Leibniz-Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI) identifies and investigates natural products produced by microorganisms, mainly fungi, to understand their role as mediators of biological communication and to use them for the elucidation of cellular processes. Furthermore, scientists at the Institute are interested in understanding the pathobiology of...

More about Leibniz-Institut für Naturstoff-Forschung und Infektionsbiologie

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