ILRS_08/2017: Doctoral Researcher (m/f) Systems level analysis to elucidate the interplay of host...

Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knoell Institute -
September 26 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

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 (m/f)

Systems level analysis to elucidate the interplay of host-microbiome in critical illness

Sepsis, multi-organ failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) represent common conditions of critically ill patients. These conditions are responsible for immense global mortality accompanied by a tremendous economic burden. While revolutionized breakthroughs of molecular medicine have been applied in the areas of oncology and rheumatology, in diseases of critical illness research endeavours of decades have not resulted to any targeted therapies. In practise, in an intensive care unit (ICU) the critical care should be considered mostly as supportive care. However, there are credible explanations why molecular therapies for these common and lethal diseases have not been emerged yet. One possible explanation is that the downstream consequences, such as host inflammation and cellular damage, and not the upstream sources, such as the complex microbial ecosystems that reside in and on the human body, have been the priority of research studies. In the past decade, and mainly due to the development of culture-independent methods for characterizing microbial communities, we have witnessed an explosion of interest in the human microbiome. Despite recent evidence that the microbiome -also often refereed as the “forgotten organ- could hold a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of critical illness, clinical guidelines simply ignore this ~2 Kg organ that contains more DNA than all other human organs together. In this PhD project, by combining clinical trials with metagenomics and systems level analysis, we plan to investigate whether microbiome signatures can be used as biomarkers for risk prediction of an ill-defined state of “protracted critical illness” and develop beneficial microbial consortia with therapeutic potential against persisting inflammation.

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.

  • strong interest in conducting collaborative research on the topic outlined above is paramount. Candidates are expected to be interested in working at the boundaries of several research domains.

  • knowledge in statistical methods in the context of biological systems

  • experience with programming (Python, Perl, C++, R)

  • high motivation to join one of the research areas of ILRS

  • creativity and interest in shaping your own cross-disciplinary thesis project

  • an integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in our lively community

  • very good communication skills in English, the working language at the ILRS.

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 2018. 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. Gianni Panagiotou, PI:

Dr. Christine Vogler, ILRS Coordinator:

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.

Deadline for application: Oct 22, 2017.

Successful applicants will be invited to attend a recruitment meeting in Jena (envisaged date: Dec 14-15, 2017).

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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