Postdoc Bacterial Infections and Immunity

Postdoc Bacterial Infections and Immunity

Published Deadline Location
9 Apr 30 Apr Utrecht

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 30 Apr 2024).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

We are seeking a highly motivated post-doctoral fellow interested in studying complement biology in the context of bacterial infections. This 2-year project is a close collaboration between the UMC Utrecht, Amsterdam UMC and a pharmaceutical company.

Job description

Human immune protection against invading bacteria critically depends on the complement system, a large protein network in plasma that either directly destroys bacterial cells or supports bacterial killing via phagocytes. The complement system is made up of many distinct plasma proteins that react with one another to induce a series of reactions that help to fight infection. Although crucial for local clearance of infections, erroneous activation of complement on the body's own cells is the root cause of many serious inflammatory diseases, including high medical need and orphan indications. While a few complement-blocking drugs have entered the market, pharmaceutical companies continue to search for highly specific complement inhibitors for treatment of a variety of inflammatory diseases while minimizing the risk to infections. In this industry-funded project, we aim to gain insight into the effect of complement inhibition on certain anti-bacterial defence mechanisms using in vitro assays.

The postdoc will be tasked to study the molecular mechanisms of complement activation and pore formation on bacteria and the cellular and molecular events underlying bacterial killing by phagocytes. You will work in the laboratory of Prof. Suzan Rooijakkers (UMC Utrecht), but closely collaborate with other members of the team located in the lab of Nina van Sorge (Amsterdam UMC) and a pharmaceutical company active in the field of anti-inflammatory drugs.

The project team consists of 2 scientists and 2 technicians who will closely collaborate. You will be involved in the supervision of master students and/or technicians and writing scientific publications.
  • Set-up and perform in vitro immunological assays to assess complement activation (and inhibition) on bacterial cells (S. aureus, S. pneumoniae, K. pneumoniae, E. coli)
  • Perform molecular biology and protein chemistry methodologies (antibody/complement protein purification)
  • Collaborate with other scientists in the Rooijakkers lab and members of the complement inhibition project (scientists, project manager and technicians)
  • Drive and develop independent scientific projects focused on understanding underlying mechanisms of complement inhibition and bacterial killing
  • Present results (oral and written) during regular discussions within the project team in Utrecht and Amsterdam
  • Active participation in regular meeting with the pharmaceutical company sponsoring this project.


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)


  • The successful candidate should hold a PhD and strong knowledge in one or more of the following: complement biology, immunology, bacteriology, antibody biology.
  • Candidate should have interest in human immunity against bacterial infections.
  • Candidate should have a track record of creativity in developing experimental strategies, experience with flow cytometry, protein chemistry and bacteriological/immunological assays is highly desirable.
  • Must be self-motivated and capable to work in autonomy, but also able to collaborate with other scientists in our team.
  • Evidence of scientific accomplishment via peer-reviewed publications is required.
  • Experience with flow cytometry-based cell sorting and working with complement and neutrophils is desirable.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English are essential.
  • Candidate should be available to start this position between between June-October 2024.

To be included in the application process, you should include the following files in your application:
(1) a motivation letter describing previous work, research interests, and career goals
(2) CV
(3) two names of references

Conditions of employment

The maximum salary for this position (32 - 36 hours) is € 5.292,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


The ‘Bacterial Infections and Immunity’ laboratory of Prof. Suzan Rooijakkers is at the Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht located on the Utrecht Science Park (Uithof, The Netherlands). Our lab studies the molecular interplay between bacteria and the human immune system, with a strong focus on complement biology and antibodies.

The UMC Utrecht (UMCU) and Utrecht University (UU) are located within one campus. The UMCU has a delegated responsibility for education in health care, medicine and biomedical sciences, and for medical research in synergy with the UU, which ranks 6th on listings of top EU research facilities. The Department of Medical Microbiology is embedded in UMCU’s research program Infection and Immunity. This research program consists of 30 research groups and 180 PhD students. Rooijakkers is the head of the Bacterial Infections & Immunity research group.


  • Postdoc
  • Health
  • 32—36 hours per week
  • max. €5292 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 2024-4590


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)

Learn more about this employer


Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX, Utrecht

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you