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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in women, with high recurrence rates even after antibiotic treatment. We have indications that a healthy urinary tract microbiome may protect against the development of UTIs, but these preliminary observations require quantification and a solid understanding of the mechanisms. You, as a PhD student, will use the computational tools to analyse and interpret the functioning and dynamics of the urinary tract microbiome. You will apply metagenomics to determine the composition of the urobiome in women with UTIs and healthy controls, annotate the microbial genomes to elucidate their functions, and predict ecological interactions. Based on these data and supported by direct metabolome measurements, you will develop and analyse community models to map metabolite usage, exchange, and trophic dependencies between different microbes in the urobiome. The ultimate goal is to identify potential metabolic intervention points in UTI-associated urobiome. In this project, you will collaborate closely with the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU) and support them in recruiting the cohort of UTI patients.
The position is embedded in a multi-disciplinary research consortium that aims to identify the evolutionary strategies of microbes and to investigate how and why the urinary microbiome goes ‘off balance’ into a diseased state. You will be joining the Theoretical Biology & Bioinformatics division at Utrecht University.
We are looking for an enthusiastic new colleague with a strong interest in microbial communities and metagenomics. You have the personal drive to contribute to address a major disease with significant clinical relevance. We would also like you to bring:
In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.
For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.
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Your research will be performed in the Microbial Genome Evolution team headed by Dr. Michael Seidl. The team analyses large-scale (meta-) genomics data with innovative computational methods to discover fundamental processes of microbial adaptation on short and long evolutionary timescales. This project is in collaboration with the Metagenomics Group (MGX) headed by Prof. Dr. Bas E. Dutilh (Utrecht University and University of Jena, Germany) that studies microbial and viral ecology, as well as with Prof. Dr. Janneke van de Wijgert (Utrecht Medical Centre, translational infectious disease research).
The Microbial Genome Evolution and MGX Groups are part of the Theoretical Biology & Bioinformatics division at Utrecht University and the Utrecht Bioinformatics Center.
Padualaan 8, 3584 CH, Utrecht
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