Postdoc integrated host-microbiome models

Postdoc integrated host-microbiome models

Published Deadline Location
3 Jan 29 Jan Wageningen

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Job description

Do you want to contribute to a better understanding of pig intestinal microbiome development during early life, and how this affects pig intestinal health and resilience to enteric infections and the need for antibiotics? Do you have experience with microbial ecology, host-microbiome interactions, organoids, immunology or systems biology? Then we are looking for you!

Wageningen University & Research is hiring a postdoctoral researcher (4 years, full-time employment) to become part of PIG-PARADIGM. In this project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. researchers at the Laboratory of Microbiology, Host-Microbe Interactomics, Systems and Synthetic Biology and Wageningen Livestock Research join forces with teams at Aarhus University, the University of Copenhagen and Aalborg University in Denmark, and the University of California, Davis in the United States. We aim to decipher interactions of the developing pig, its diet and its intestinal microbiome, as well as the effect of post-weaning stress on intestinal mucosa functioning and susceptibility to infections. We want to turn that knowledge into new strategies for healthier pigs. We will study how members of the intestinal microbiome interact with each other and with the host intestine using advanced organoid-based models, and whether changes in the diet or the environment affect the intestinal microbiome so that less antibiotics are required. You will work in a team that is passionate about the role microbiomes play in the health of humans, animals and our environment.

Postdoc: Integrated host-microbiome models
As postdoctoral researcher you will develop in vitro models of the intestinal microbe interaction in a hemi anaerobic culture system allowing oxygenation of intestinal organoid monolayers from the basal compartment and culture of selected bacteria and synthetic communities in a hypoxic apical chamber with a fluid control system. The model will be used to study the effects of the microbiota and specific metabolites on host innate defence and barrier function as well as epithelial permeability and infection with ETEC. You will also use organoid monolayers to model acute emotional stress at the time of weaning which activates the HPA axis, causing release of CRF in the lamina propria. The effects of this stress hormone on intestinal barrier, oxidative stress and infection with ETEC will be studied in organoid models combined with immune cells in the basal chamber. Moreover, the model will be adapted for use in the hemi-anaerobic culture system to identify microbes and metabolites which attenuate stress-induced barrier dysfunction and/or its inflammatory consequences.


Wageningen University & Research


We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher that has:
  • a PhD in microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology, immunology or other relevant field;
  • knowledge of host-microbiome interactions;
  • experience with bioinformatics and biostatistics;
  • experience with molecular analyses of microbiomes and (anaerobic) microbial cultivation techniques;
  • experience with in vitro cell models and stem cell work;
  • a good track record or writing or contributing to scientific articles;
  • fluency in English (both spoken and written);
  • good communication and presentation skills;
  • the ability to work in international and multidisciplinary research teams.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
A challenging position of 1.0 FTE for 24 months, starting Q1 2023, with the possibility to extend to 48 months. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between €3282,- and €4093,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale10).

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.


Wageningen University & Research

The mission of Wageningen University and Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7.200 employees and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1022737-5


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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