Doctoral Researcher Position (Ref. No. ILRS_06/2016): Dissection of the Candida albicans lipase gene family and its role in commensalism and pathogenicity

The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute – in cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University, the University Hospital Jena and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology are offering an international graduate training programme. The

International Leibniz Research School (ILRS Jena)

gives doctoral researchers the possibility to prepare for their PhD exam in an ambitious program providing excellent research conditions. We invite applications for a

Doctoral Researcher Position (Ref. No. ILRS_06/2016)
Dissection of the Candida albicans lipase gene family and its role in commensalism and pathogenicity

Candida albicans is a major human pathogen and a common cause of superficial, as well as fatal infections. Among the most discussed virulence attributes of C. albicans are the yeast-to-hypha transition, biofilm formation, nutrient acquisition, immune evasion strategies and extracellular hydrolytic activity. While secreted proteases (Saps) are very well studied, less is known about secreted lipolytic enzymes. In 2000, we reported about a large secreted lipase gene family (LIP1–LIP10) in the genome of C. albicans . These lipases probably enable C. albicans to grow using lipids as the sole source of carbon. Lipid substrates may be found on mucosal tissues including the intestinal tract and lipases may provide an adaptive advantage to persist on these surfaces, even in the absence of carbohydrates. However, we found that LIP genes were also expressed in media without lipids with two genes only expressed in media lacking lipids. Therefore, these genes likely play a role independently from nutrient acquisition. In fact, lipases are discussed as potential virulence factors in many pathogenic microbes. For example, lipases have been shown to promote adhesion, to prevent phagocytic killing, to inhibit monocyte chemotaxis, and to modify inflammatory processes. The fact that lipases of C. albicans are encoded by a large gene family suggests that these enzymes play crucial roles. However, the relevance of lipases for C. albicans commensalism and/or pathogenicity remains unknown.

In this project, we suggest to use a new technology, the CRISPR system, which permits the deletion of even large gene families, to solve an old question, by a systematic gene disruption approach of all 10 lipase genes. Furthermore, we will use state-of-the-art molecular methodologies and our established commensal and infection models to elucidate the role of secreted lipases in C. albicans commensalism and pathogenicity.

We expect:
  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent allowing you to pursue a PhD degree) in Natural or Life Sciences. Research at ILRS is centred around “Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions”. Candidates about to earn their degree are welcome to apply.
  • high motivation and interest to join one of the research areas of ILRS
  • creativity and interest in shaping your own thesis project
  • an integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in our lively community
  • very good communication skills in English
  • Practical experiences in one or more of the following subjects: Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Infection Biology, Cellular Biology is required. Practical experience in cell culture or fungal genetics is an advantage.
We offer:
  • a top-level research environment
  • efficient supervision by a team of advisors
  • a comprehensive mentoring programme
  • courses in state-of-the-art technologies and soft skills
  • strong communication and interaction between the involved institutions
  • Jena – City of Science: innovative business activities, successful scientific centres and a vibrant cultural scene around the famous Friedrich Schiller University
The three-year Doctoral Researcher position is available starting from January 2017. The position will be financially supported according to TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees). HKI is an equal opportunity employer.

Further information:
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hube, PI, bernhard.hube@leibniz-hki.de
Dr. Christine Vogler, ILRS Coordinator, ilrs@leibniz-hki.de

The application process is handled exclusively online. Please acquaint yourself with the scientific projects offered on our website. Please note that you can choose up to 3 projects of interest in your application. It is only necessary to fill in the application form for your first preference of projects; the other two projects can be selected in the application form. In order to apply via the online application portal, go to

https://orthos.hki-jena.de/jobs/job-offers

Deadline for application: Oct 23, 2016.
Successful applicants will be invited to attend a recruitment meeting in Jena (envisaged date: Dec 14-15, 2016).
 
How to apply:
The application process is handled exclusively online. Please acquaint yourself with the scientific projects offered on our website. Please note that you can choose up to 3 projects of interest in your application. It is only necessary to fill in the application form for your first preference of projects; the other two projects can be selected in the application form. In order to apply via the online application portal, go to

https://orthos.hki-jena.de/jobs/job-offers
 
Send application to
Dr. Christine Vogler, ILRS Coordinator, ilrs@leibniz-hki.de
While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: ILRS_06/2016

About International Leibniz Research School for Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions

The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute - in cooperation with the Friedrich-Schiller-University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology are offering an international graduate program. The International Leibniz Research School (ILRS Jena) gives doctoral researchers the possibility to prepare for their PhD exam in an...

More about International Leibniz Research School for Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions

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