Doctoral Researcher (Infection Biology)

Jena, Thüringen (DE)
March 20 2017
Position Type
Full Time

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 Department of Infection Biology invites talented and highly gifted candidates to apply for a

Doctoral Researcher (Infection Biology)

for three years initially.

Immune evasion of Plasmodium falciparum

Malaria is a major global health burden, causing 214 million clinical infections and an estimated 438,000 deaths annually (WHO World Malaria Report 2015). Malaria infections can persist for weeks or months in infected individuals, allowing the parasites to replicate in red blood cells (RBCs). When the parasites explosively exit the host cell to initiate another replication cycle they are exposed to the innate immune response by the host. To evade the innate immune attack, merozoites like other pathogenic microbes recruit complement regulators from the host onto their surface.

This project aims at elucidating the role of complement regulators on the surface of the malaria parasite and to define how the attached host proteins modulate the host immune response. The study includes the isolation of immune cells from human blood, recombinant expression and purification of microbial and human proteins. The interaction of immune cells with the (inactivated) parasite will be followed by life cell imaging using laser scanning microscopy. The characterization of the immune response includes cytokine measurements (FACS) and isolation, as well as formation and characterization of microvesicles.

The doctoral researcher will become a member of the Graduate School International Leibniz Research School of Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions (ILRS Jena).

Our requirements:

  • Master degree in biology, genetics or life sciences.
  • Experience, knowledge and good experimental skills in molecular biology, immunobiology and, biochemistry are an advantage.

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

Further information: Prof. Dr. Christine Skerka | +49 3641 532 1300 |

Complete applications in English or German should include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, a complete list of publications, brief statement of research experiences, a list of three potential references, full academic record (copies of degree certificates), and should be submitted by 21.04.2017 via