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  3. PhD student “Staphylococcus aureus infection dynamics in cattle” (1.0 FTE)

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PhD student “Staphylococcus aureus infection dynamics in cattle” (1.0 FTE)

Utrecht University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is looking for a PhD student. Are you interested? Then please read the full profile and apply.

4 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2 - € 3 per maand


A PhD position on “Staphylococcus aureus infection dynamics in cattle” is available at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

Staphylococcus aureus is a major opportunistic pathogen of animals and humans and can cause a range of diseases, mastitis in cattle to septicaemia in humans. Available vaccines against S. aureus for farm animals and humans show efficacy. Important gaps in our understanding of the pathogenesis of S. aureus infection hampers the development therapeutics, intervention strategies, and innovative tools for early diagnosis. Infection of farm animals with S. aureus major impact on animal health and welfare and leads to economic losses. It also affects public health through the use antimicrobials, transmission of (antibiotic resistant) strains, and the impact on food safety. A better understanding pathogen determinants that influence the epidemiology of S. aureus and the severity of S. aureus disease will aid in vaccine targets and developing management interventions.

In cattle, S. aureus is an important cause of mastitis and has a major impact on health and wellbeing. Recent research shown that cattle are the main reservoir from which novel human epidemic clones emerge. Using the bovine S. aureus infection model we aim to characterise host and pathogen factors that determine transmission, carriage/infection and severity. This project demands an interdisciplinary approach combining epidemiology, immunology and microbiology to our understanding of Staphylococcus aureus infection dynamics in cattle and combines collection of field samples with and experimental laboratory investigations. The following objectives will be addressed: i) molecular characterization aureus isolated from various niches within a cattle herd and estimation of the transmission potential and contribution aureus disease of different lineages; ii) longitudinal characterisation of S. aureus specific immune responses and their correlation with carriage, infection and disease severity; iii) Functional characterisation of putative virulence gene(s) play role in transmission or disease severity.

This project is a collaboration between the Department of Farm animal health and the Department of Infectious diseases Immunology and is part of the One Health research programme of Utrecht University.


We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a broad interest in all aspects of infection biology, from work to lab-based experiments to quantitative epidemiological analyses. The candidate should have good communication be flexible and enjoy to work in a multidisciplinary team. The applicant must hold at least a relevant Master’s degree Science (e.g. Infection and immunity, Veterinary medicine, Epidemiology, Animal science, Biology). Hands on experience least one of the core disciplines (epidemiology, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology) is highly desirable.


We offer a full-time position, initially for a period of one year with the perspective of prolongation with another three years. The appointment should lead to a dissertation.

The gross monthly salary is based on experience and qualifications, and ranges from a minimum of €2,325 to a maximum of 2,972 (i.e. salary scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) on a fulltime 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.

Additionele informatie

For more information, please contact Lindert Benedictus (l.benedictus1@uu.nl).

Please do not send your application letter to this e-mail address.