Promotionsstelle Staphylococcus aureus Phagen

The DFG funded research training group (Graduiertenkolleg 1708)  „Molecular principles of bacterial survival strategies“ combines multidisciplinary research groups from the University Tübingen, which all have a dedicated interest in bacterial physiology and survival strategies as a fundamental principle of biology. We are seeking a PhD student for the following project within this program: “Staphylococcal factors influencing the biology of Sa3-phages” which will be supervised by Christiane Wolz (Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, UKT Tübingen).

The virulence and host adaptation of pathogens is largely dependent on virulence factors encoded on mobile genetic elements. For the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus phages are the primary agents of horizontal gene transfer and phages have a profound influence on the virulence, resistance development and evolution of the pathogen. In this project, we will concentrate on elucidating the basic mechanism involved in transfer and function of ϕSa3-phages and on the interference between the bacterial host and ϕSa3-phages. Sa3-phages are highly prevalent in human S. aureus isolates and carry a number of virulence factors. So far little is known about the basic mechanism leading to mobilization/integration of these phages. From our previous work we have good evidence that bacterial factors interfere with the phage life cycle. So far such interference mechanisms were rarely described in Staphylococci. We hypothesize that they are mediated by factors encoded on SaPI islands or by global regulatory systems. The elucidation of such mechanisms may help to better understand the evolution and host adaptation of certain S. aureus lineages. In this project different molecular techniques (e.g. promoter-activities, site-directed mutagenesis, transcript analyses, protein interaction studies, in vivo imaging..) will be applied to address  these questions.
How to apply:
Send application to
Prof. Dr. Christiane Wolz
Institut für Med. Mikrobiologie und Hygiene
Elfriede-Aulhorn-Straße 6
72076 Tübingen
Tel: 49 7071 2980187
While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: 3

About Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

The major human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus asymptomatically colonizes the anterior nares of humans, but also causes a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from simple skin infections to major life-threatening acute infections. Additionally, S. aureus can cause chronic infections (osteomyelitis, device-related infections, and lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis) that require...

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