PhD position on the study the emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses

PhD position on the study the emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses

Published Deadline Location
14 Nov 13 Dec Rotterdam

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Job description

Birds are the main hosts of influenza A viruses, with viruses from 17 different hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes known to circulate. Most avian influenza viruses are low pathogenic (LPAIV), but viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes can spontaneously convert to highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) upon transmission from wild waterfowl to domestic poultry. This has occurred at least 47 times over the past 50 years. HPAIVs cause systemic infection with mortality rates of up to 100% in poultry and are a major burden for avian health, but also a constant zoonotic threat, as illustrated by the numerous mammalian spillover events observed during the current H5 HPAIV outbreak. Despite the clear importance of this topic, we are lacking fundamental information about the genesis of HPAIV.

Your work will focus on understanding the mechanisms, subtype and species-restriction of HPAIV emergence at the molecular level. Your experimental work will include basic techniques in virology, primary cell and continuous line cell culture, state-of-the art molecular biology, reverse genetics, biochemical assays, and next-generation sequencing.


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)


We are looking for a PhD candidate who is enthusiastic, highly motivated and who demonstrates a drive for fundamental research in virology.
  • Candidate should hold a MSc degree or equivalent from an accredited academic program in biology, biomedical or molecular sciences, immunology, or (veterinary) medicine.
  • Demonstrable experience with cell culture and various molecular and/or and virological techniques are necessary.
  • Candidate should have an excellent command of the English language, both oral and written.
  • Candidate is expected to obtain their PhD in 4 years, with Dr. Mathilde Richard as co-promotor and Prof. Dr. R.A.M. Fouchier as promotor.

Conditions of employment

  • You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.901 ,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3,677 ,- in the 4th year (scale OIO).
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and a individual travel expense package.
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly c 2.901ontribution.
  • Special benefits, such as a incompany physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.


Erasmus MC

The Department of Viroscience at Erasmus MC employs more than 110 employees of different disciplines and runs an extensive experimental research program on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of infections by human and animal viruses. All necessary equipment to carry out the research proposed is available within the setting of the department. The Department of Viroscience harbors well-equipped clinical and experimental virology labs, in which all the virology, molecular biology, pathology and immunology techniques necessary for the project are operational.

You will be part of the team of Dr. Mathilde Richard, whose recent focus has been on the understanding of HPAIV emergence and in which the necessary expertise and experience to receive appropriate training and support is available.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €335—€3677 per month
  • University graduate
  • 46.05.23.TDA-P1367223-1


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)

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Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD, Rotterdam

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