Postdoc position in unravelling the antimicrobial properties of oligosaccharides (0.8 FTE)

Postdoc position in unravelling the antimicrobial properties of oligosaccharides (0.8 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
25 Oct 26 Nov Utrecht

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Would you like to study airway pathogens-host interactions and find novel antimicrobial compounds to treat airway infections? Join us!

Job description

Inappropriate and misuse of antibiotics in humans and livestock has led to the rapid selection of bacteria that are resistant to multiple drugs. An urgent need for antimicrobial compounds is needed to still be able to fight ‘simple’ infections in the future. In this project we will test non-digestible oligosaccharides (NDOs) as possible new antimicrobial compounds to control mucosal (respiratory) infections. NDOs are natural oligosaccharides, which possess antibacterial properties and are structurally very diverse. In a multidisciplinary research team funded by ZonMW, we bring together the microbiology, cell biology, mucosal immunology, infectiology and carbohydrate chemistry research fields. We will be able to make groundbreaking discoveries about the antimicrobial effects of NDOs on respiratory pathogens such as their applicability as treatment via the airways and unraveling structure-function relationships by identifying the bio-active component of a NDO. For this project we are seeking a postdoctoral researcher who will investigate the antimicrobial properties of NDOs towards airway pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae.

The objectives of this project are:

  • to investigate the effect of NDOs on the growth and viability of (antimicrobial resistant) airway pathogens;
  • to study the antimicrobial and barrier-protective properties of NDOs on airway pathogens in 2D-airway cell cultures;
  • to explore the synergistic/additive effect of NDOs on the action of different antibiotics;
  • to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the antimicrobial activity of identified NDOs.


Utrecht University


We are looking for a highly motivated Life Sciences candidate, who has a strong interest in host-pathogen interactions. In addition, you meet the following qualifications:

  • You hold a PhD with a background in microbiology, (cell)biology, or related fields.
  • You have a strong intrinsic motivation for doing science, a natural curiosity, and the ability to work independently and as a part of a team.
  • You have experience in bacterial and cell culturing and analyzing large datasets.
  • You have professional working proficiency in English, including scientific writing.
  • You have an affinity with or interest in working in an interdisciplinary environment.

Conditions of employment

We offer:

  • an international work environment at the Faculty of Science (division Pharmacology) and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (division Infection Biology) both at Utrecht University, in close collaboration with the Laboratory of Pediatrics at Erasmus MC;
  • a postdoctoral fellowship (0.8 FTE) for 2 years, with possibility to extend to 4 years;
  • a full-time gross salary between €3,720 and €4,185  in scale 10.3 - 10.6 of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO);
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

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, sports and cultural schemes and you get discounts on software and other IT products. 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.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University is unique in the Netherlands and occupies a leading international position in the field of education, research and animal health care The faculty consisting of the 3 departments Clinical Sciences, Biomolecular Health Sciences and Population Health Sciences counts approximately 1,500 students and 900 employees. It organizes its research activities via an Institute of Veterinary Research and participates in the university-wide research programme “Life Sciences”. The faculty also provides academic training for veterinarians, researchers and trainee specialists.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1216228



Heidelberglaan 8, 3584CS, Utrecht

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