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A postdoc position is available in the Applied and Industrial Mycology group.
Natamycin is an antifungal compound belonging to the polyene antibiotics that target ergosterol, an important molecule in the fungal cellular membrane. It prevents the growth of many fungi at micromolar concentrations. It is in use on cheese and sausages to prevent unwanted fungal growth on the surface of these products. A number of Penicillium strains show tolerance to natamycin and are becoming a problem by causing food spoilage. Using a collection of over 150 isolates, both sensitive and resistance, we will identify the cause leading to this high level antimicrobial resistance and find novel ways to restore sensitivity for this polyene antibiotic.
For our part of the project we are looking for a talented postdoctoral researcher with experience in genome and RNAseq analysis, but also with interest in laboratory experiments including evaluation of growth effects of natamycin on the strains, generation of a deletion mutant, guided evolution experiments and microscopy.
The project is run in close collaboration with Dr Eefjan Breukink of Utrecht University (Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics) and Dr Jos Houbraken at the Westerdijk Institute and in close contact with different companies that are interested in a possible application of the results. At Utrecht University the biochemical aspects will be studied in detail.
We are looking for candidates with:
Fixed-term contract: Initially one year with a potential extension after positive evaluation.
The Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute (WES) is an independent research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), situated on the campus of the largest university in the Netherlands in Utrecht. The Westerdijk Institute studies fungal biodiversity in the widest sense, focusing on three priority areas, agriculture, human health, and industry (indoor air and food). The institute maintains a large genetic resource of fungi and yeasts, which is exploited by seven research groups: Fungal Natural Products (Jérôme Collemare), Fungal Physiology (Ronald de Vries), Evolutionary Phytopathology (Pedro Crous), Applied and Industrial Mycology (Jos Houbraken), Medical Mycology (Ferry Hagen), Collection (Gerard Verkleij), Yeast and Basidiomycete Research (Teun Boekhout) and Database and Software Development (Vincent Robert). Additional information is available on our website: www.wi.knaw.nl.
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)
Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT, Utrecht
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