PhD candidate in Molecular plant Pathology

University of Amsterdam
April 20 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) has a vacancy for a PhD candidate in Molecular plant Pathology fo the project Effector proteins as tools to dissect plant immunity.

Plant pathogens manipulate their host by secreting so-called effector proteins. These proteins typically act inside host cells and affect various signalling processes benefitting the pathogen. The molecular mechanism underlying fungal effector uptake and their mode of action are poorly understood. In our group, we have identified effector proteins from the fungus Fusarium oxysporum and identified putative host targets for some of them. The PhD candidate will investigate how these targets are manipulated by these effectors and how this contributes to disease susceptibility and fungal virulence. The techniques used include standard molecular techniques, stable and transient plant transformation, fungal and bacterial disease assays, (confocal) microscopy, protein purification and protein-interaction assays. Affinity and experience with plant-microbe interactions and the above-mentioned techniques is a plus. This project is funded by a NWO VICI-grant.


  • Determine the molecular mechanism underlying the manipulation of plasmodesmata by the Avr2-Six5 effector pair;

  • Identify the host target of Avr2 and its role in immunity;

  • Uncover the mechanism underlying host target manipulation by Six8 and its role in plant immunity;

  • Increase understanding of the mechanism of uptake of effector proteins by plants cells.

Job description:

Your key tasks as a PhD candidate are:

  • participate constructively in the research environment at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam and in the Experimental School of Plant Sciences;

  • mManage and carry through your research project;

  • take PhD courses;

  • write scientific articles and your PhD thesis;

  • actively participate in conferences;

  • teach and disseminate your research.

A master/academic degree in (bio)chemistry or molecular biology, affinity for phytopathology is desirable but not required. Experience with protein purification and confocal microscopy is recommended, but a passion for science is a prerequisite.

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates:

  • a master's degree related to the subject area of the project;

  • the grade point average achieved;

  • professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme;

  • relevant biological research experience within these areas: molecular biology, microbiology, phytopathology;

  • previous research publications;

  • other professional activities;

  • language skills: fluent in English.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess