Postdoctoral fellow / assistant professor position in “host-pathogen interaction” research (1,0 fte)
For the One Health – Infection & Immunity research programme of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University, we are looking for a dedicated scientist in the field of complex epithelial cell systems to study infection processes and host responses.
Most viral and bacterial infections start at respiratory or intestinal epithelial surfaces. New developments in 3D “air-liquid interface” epithelial cell systems and organoid technologies allow the in vitro study of infections and host responses under physiologically relevant conditions. Development of complex epithelial cell systems of different animal species (bovine, pig, chicken) will greatly facilitate research within our One Health – Infection & Immunity research at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University, including Virology (headed by Prof. Frank van Kuppeveld), Bacterial Infection Biology (Prof. Jos van Putten), Clinical Infection Biology (Prof. Jaap Wagenaar), Molecular Host Defense (Prof. Henk Haagsman), Immunology (Prof. Willem van Eden), Cell Biology (Prof. Willem Stoorvogel), Intercellular Communication (Prof. Marca Wauben), and Pathobiology (Prof. Andrea Gröne). These complex cell systems allow fundamental studies to identify epithelial cell types that are infected by viruses and bacteria, the receptors that are used, the role of mucus, and the (innate) immune responses that are triggered upon infection. Such insight is essential for better understanding of whether and how pathogens can cross the species barrier, which is an important aspect of zoonotic infections. Additionally, complex cell systems may be useful for fundamental studies towards interactions of the microbiome (incl. virome) with the mucosal epithelium.
We are looking for a postdoc / assistant professor with experience in setting up complex epithelial cell systems and a keen interest in host-pathogen interactions and/or mucosal biology/immunology. Within this research field, the candidate is expected to develop complex cell systems of different animal species (bovine, pig, chicken) for broad use and to set up an own research line, embedded in the One Health – Infection & Immunity research programme, using such systems. This research line should strengthen interactions between different research groups and can benefit from the expertise available within these groups. A PhD student will be installed and closely work with the postdoc / assistant professor on a similar or complementary topic on host-pathogen interactions at mucosal surfaces, and the postdoc / assistant professor is expected to (co-)supervise this PhD student.
The candidate is expected to have solid experience in a relevant field, such as virology, microbiology, immunology, cell biology or a related discipline. Experience with setting up and working with complex cell systems is expected. The candidate is preferably within 8 years of having obtained his/her PhD. The candidate should have a proven track record of productivity and excellent/outstanding communication skills (writing and verbal), and thus be sufficiently competitive to seek and secure external fellowship funding (e.g. ERC Starting/Consolidator grant or NWO-VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate creativity, ambition, strong work ethic, critical thinking, and team skills.
The candidate can benefit from the expertise on complex cell systems that is present in Utrecht University, including the Regenerative Medicine research groups at the Faculties of Veterinary Medicine and the University Medical Center, the Hubrecht Institute, and U-AIM (a recently established Utrecht Advanced In Vitro Models hub).
We offer a full-time position, initially for a period of one year. If your performance is found satisfactory the period can be expand to the duration of the entire project (four years in total). The gross monthly salary is based on experience and qualifications, and ranges from a minimum of €2,588 to a maximum of €5,405 (i.e. salary scale 10 to 12 according to the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) on a full-time basis. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8,3%.
Utrecht University offers excellent secondary benefits including collective insurance schemes, an excellent pension scheme and flexible employment conditions. For more information: Working at Utrecht University.
Over de organisatie
A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has a unique position in the Netherlands. Not only is this the only institution where veterinarians are trained, researchers are also working together on innovative scientific research. In addition, the faculty provides specialist clinical care in the largest academic veterinary hospital in Europe. Thanks to this position, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is a point of contact for all veterinary matters, both nationally and increasingly internationally. The faculty employs approximately 900 veterinarians, scientists and support staff and counts 1,500 students.
For more information, please contact Prof. Frank van Kuppeveld by firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on +3130253 41 73.
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