阿姆斯特丹自由大学

Microscopy and Bioinformatics

项目介绍

JOB DESCRIPTION

Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen estimated to be present in 40-60% of healthy adults. However, in subjects with underlying disease, C. albicans increases its virulence, multiplies and causes deadly systemic infections. C. albicans virulence is linked to its ability to change morphology and to switch from a single cell yeast form to a filamentous pseudohyphal or hyphal form that can result in adhesive multicellular drug-resistant structures called biofilms. In C. albicans, the biofilm state is both sword and shield; it allows evasion of the immune system and invasion of host tissue and ultimately the bloodstream, leading to systemic infections with devastating consequences for the host. Its adaptability and versatility is what makes C. albicans such a successful pathogen and a challenge for drugs that often target only one of albicans’ morphological states, but not the community as a whole. At the basis of this limitation lies a lack of understanding of the underlying principles of C. albicans differentiation, which allows this fungus to tailor the heterogeneous composition of biofilms. Understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling the dynamic and reversible transitions between morphological states is therefore a challenge of the medical microbiology field, whose urgency is exacerbated by the appearance of novel drug-resistant Candida species.
The aim of this project is, therefore, to advance our understanding of C. albicans morphogenesis and biofilm development. Unlike previous studies, we use single cell technologies that allow us to characterize yeast, pseudohyphae and hyphae with high spatial and temporal resolution. To do so, we adapt the quantitative molecular imaging toolbox that we previously developed for the fungus S. cerevisiae and we develop single-cell approaches specific for C. albicans, to unravel the heterogeneity, organization and functioning of biofilms.
The long-term goal is to advance our understanding of fungal differentiation and set the basis for future studies investigating multispecies microbial biofilms and to overcome a fundamental challenge of infectious disease medicine: effective clearance of recalcitrant and biofilm-forming fungal infections. 

Your duties

  • you develop methods for multiplexed single molecule RNA FISH for C. albicans and study C. albicans differentiation
  • you develop fluorescence-based reporters to investigate cell signaling in single C. albicans cells
  • you develop imaging analysis and modelling approaches to study the spatial organization of gene expression in C. albicans yeast, pseudohyphae and hyphae 
  • you communicate your research at local and international conferences 
  • you are actively involved in both experimental and bioinformatic research
  • you publish your results in peer-reviewed journals and in a PhD dissertation

REQUIREMENTS

  • you have a MSc or equivalent degree in Molecular biology, Biophysics, Bioinformatics, Systems Biology, Microbiology or a related field, with a strong interest in microscopy and data analysis
  • you have experience with imaging analysis and programming software such as Python/R studio/MATLAB 
  • you have excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English

Experience with Candida albicans is preferred, but any experience in microbiology and living systems is also appropriate. Prior experience with advanced microscopy techniques, including the use of fluorescence wide field and confocal microscopy is an advantage!

WHAT ARE WE OFFERING?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);

ABOUT VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT AMSTERDAM

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity
We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

APPLICATION

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 31/08/2022.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr. E. Tutucci
Position: project manager
E-mail: evelina.tutucci@vu.nl

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截止日期 2022-08-31
阿姆斯特丹自由大学

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