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  3. Postdoc Intestinal host-microbe interactions (1.0 FTE)

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Postdoc Intestinal host-microbe interactions (1.0 FTE)

We are looking for a Postdoc to perform scientific research on interactions of bacteria with intestinal mucin proteins as part of an ERC-funded project. The …

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Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2640 - € 4166 per maand


We are looking for a Postdoc to perform scientific research on interactions of bacteria with intestinal mucin proteins as part of an ERC-funded project.
The intestinal microbiota is essential for human health, but can also cause inflammation, for example in patients that suffer from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. We aim to understand how pathobionts or pathogens cause inflammation or epithelial invasion and how commensal bacteria stimulate a healthy epithelial barrier. Interactions between microbiota and the host take place in the mucus layer. Transmembrane mucins are receptor-like glycosylated proteins expressed on the apical surface of intestinal epithelial cells. These mucins can act like barriers, be used utilized by pathogens for invasion and initiate signaling events. In one of our publications we described the potential hijacking of transmembrane mucin MUC1 by Salmonella and its utilization for apical invasion of intestinal epithelial cells (Li et al, PLoS Pathogens; PMC6375660).
The goal of this project is to perform high-throughput screens to identify commensals, pathogens and pathobionts that interact with transmembrane mucins. Furthermore you will investigate the downstream effects of specific interactions on bacterial invasion, immune activation and epithelial barrier formation. Your findings will be published in peer reviewed journals and you will present your work in the department and at international conferences. Depending on your experience, you may be responsible for the daily supervision of MSc or PhD students.

The required techniques include:

  • cell culture of cell lines and primary cells;
  • microbiological techniques such as bacterial culturing and generation of knockouts;
  • high-throughput screening assays;
  • generation of CRISPR/Cas9 knockout cell lines;
  • assays to determine protein-protein interactions;
  • advanced microscopy, FACS;
  • immunological assays including phagocytosis assays, reporter assays and ELISA.


We are looking for a colleague who:

  • is highly motivated and has a passion for host-microbe interactions;
  • has experience with some or several of the techniques listed;
  • a PhD in infection biology, cell biology, innate immunology or equivalent.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for three years in an international working environment. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €3,514 and €4,018 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Karin Strijbis (Assistant Professor) via K.Strijbis@uu.nl or +31 30 253 47 55.