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  3. PhD candidate: Translational pharmacology of antimicrobial drug effects, ESR 06

PhD candidate: Translational pharmacology of antimicrobial drug effects, ESR 06

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research are looking for a PhD candidate: Translational pharmacology of antimicrobial drug effects, ESR 06

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Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Standplaats:
Einsteinweg, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Dienstverband:
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Opleidingsniveau:
WO

Functieomschrijving

Leiden University has available an Early Stage Researcher / PhD candidate position on Translational pharmacology of antimicrobial drug effects (ESR 06) as part of the Innovative Training Network (ITN) Training towards Innovative Personalized Antibiotic Therapy (TIPAT).

In this PhD project the ESR will study population dynamics of antibiotic drug treatment focusing on characterisation of relationships between antibiotic-induced drug exposure and effects (killing, resistance, tolerance), fitness effects, host-pathogen interactions. We aim to bring together in this project mechanistic understanding of drug effects and microbial population dynamics with clinical pharmacology and antibiotic treatment regimens used in the clinic. The ultimate aim is to improve translational predictions of antibiotic treatments towards patients, and, to better understand heterogeneity in clinical treatment response.  To this aim, a combination of high-throughput and continuous culture/chemostat time kill studies will be used. In parallel we will develop mathematical models for hypothesis development and testing, and to subsequently investigate translation of experimental finding to design of optimized antibiotic treatments for individual patients. We will primarily focus Gram-negative pathogens including P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae.  In this project interactions with other ESRs at Leiden University and other TIPAT partners will be possible, e.g. for making the link to clinical predictions of treatment response profiles.

For this project we are seeking an enthusiastic candidate who is interested to design and conduct clinical/translationally relevant microbiological experiments with antibiotics. Either prior experience, or a strong affinity/interest to develop mathematical differential equation based models, which link bacterial population dynamics to drug treatment is required.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 861323.

Key responsibilities

  • Develop and conduct in vitro and/or in vivo assays to characterize exposure/response relationships for antibacterial agents and the emergence of resistance/tolerance;
  • Develop mathematical models based on generated data to derive optimize treatment strategies;
  • Actively participate in the TIPAT international and inter-disciplinary training program, which includes regular webinars and presentations, network-wide training events, and several short international secondments to receive further training;
  • Reporting of results at project meetings and conferences;
  • Writing of progress reports and scientific manuscripts;
  • Contribution to educational activities;
  • Contribute to a collaborative, open and positive working atmosphere in the research group.

Functie-eisen

  • Master degree in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacology, Biology (e.g. microbiology. evolutionary biology), (Bio-) physics, or a related discipline (graduation date before project start date);
  • Experience in microbiological techniques/assays; specific experiments with time kill studies or evolution experiments is desirable;
  • Affinity/experience with use of scripting languages such as R or Python;
  • Affinity/experience with mathematical modeling in pharmacology or biology;
  • Experience in molecular biological techniques is of added value (e.g. transformation of strains, qPCR/PCR, sequencing);
  • Interest in antimicrobial drug research;
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills to organize research with both academics and professionals;
  • Good communication (verbal and writing) skills in English;
  • Confirmed capacity to write high-level scientific reports and papers;
  • Interested in participating in educational tasks;
  • Independent and creative team player.

Eligibility
At the time of commencing their employment, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their (recruiting) host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to their recruitment.

Applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree at the first day of their employment contract. This research experience is measured from the date when they obtain the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited), even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. Research experience is measured to the first day of the employment contract of the researcher.

Usual MSCA eligibility criteria apply and will be verified during the application process. For more information on MSCA, please see the website.

Conditions

We offer a one year term position, with the possibility of an extension by a further three years, based on a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility. Salary range from € 2,325.- to  € 2,972.- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Special agreements as a Marie Curie early stage researcher you will be entitled to extra allowances based on EU funding. These allowances are explained at a later stage. The planned start of employment is between 01-09-2020 and 01-11-2020.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end of year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break (30% of gross salary exempt from income taxation).

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

In addition to their individual scientific projects, TIPAT ESRs will collaborate with world-leading research groups and industries within the consortium through secondments. All ESRs will benefit from further extensive and varied continuing education, completing a series of carefully designed training modules and transferable skills courses; they will participate in symposia, workshops, and international conferences and will have meaningful exposure to the industrial environment through TIPAT industrial partners.

Additional information

Questions about this position can be send to Coen van Hasselt, email coen.vanhasselt@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl

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