PhD candidate in Structural Biology of Tuberculosis, Institute M4I, division Nanoscopy, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

PhD candidate in Structural Biology of Tuberculosis, Institute M4I, division Nanoscopy, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

Published Deadline Location
6 Apr 11 May Maastricht

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Job description

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Even though TB is curable, about one and a half million people succumb to it every year. Current treatments are long and with side effects: the need for new antibiotics and vaccines is obvious.

We aim to understand how gene products or proteins work within their cellular environment in health and disease. Our institute houses a state of the art cryo-Light Microscopy/Electron Microscopy correlative workflow from cellular localization, milling with focused ion beam (FIB-SEM), down to cryo-electron tomography, subvolume averaging and image processing to study how these nano-machines work under native conditions.

We seek a talented PhD candidate to join our interdisciplinary team. Our biology research focuses on unraveling, controlling and tempering the pathogenicity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis at a molecular level. The applicant will apply biochemistry to purify and characterize molecular players in isolation. The structural characterization will be mainly done by single particle analysis.

PhD Job Title: Structural insight in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis pathogenicity.
PhD advisers: Peter J. Peters and Raimond Ravelli
Organisation Unit: Nanoscopy division of the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging institute (M4I).

Recent publications of PhD students from our Lab:

Priming mycobacterial ESX-secreted protein B to form a channel-like structure.
Gijsbers A, Vinciauskaite V, Siroy A, Gao Y, Tria G, Mathew A, Sánchez-Puig N, López-Iglesias C, Peters PJ, Ravelli RBG. - Curr Res Struct Biol. 2021

Structure of the Yersinia injectisome in intracellular host cell phagosomes revealed by cryo FIB electron tomography.
Berger C, Ravelli RBG, López-Iglesias C, Kudryashev M, Diepold A, Peters PJ. - J Struct Biol. 2021 Mar;213(1):107701.

Endocytosed nanogold fiducials for improved in-situ cryo-electron tomography tilt-series alignment.
Berger C, Ravelli RBG, López-Iglesias C, Peters PJ. - J Struct Biol. 2021 Mar;213(1):107698.

Single-particle cryo-EM: alternative schemes to improve dose efficiency.
Zhang Y, Lu PH, Rotunno E, Troiani F, van Schayck JP, Tavabi AH, Dunin-Borkowski RE, Grillo V, Peters PJ, Ravelli RBG. - J Synchrotron Radiat. 2021 Sep 1;28(Pt 5):1343-1356.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis ferritin: a suitable workhorse protein for cryo-EM development.
Gijsbers A, Zhang Y, Gao Y, Peters PJ, Ravelli RBG. - Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol. 2021

Understanding the invisible hands of sample preparation for cryo-EM.
Weissenberger G, Henderikx RJM, Peters PJ. - Nat Methods. 2021 May;18(5):463-471

Sub-pixel electron detection using a convolutional neural network.
van Schayck JP, van Genderen E, Maddox E, Roussel L, Boulanger H, Fröjdh E, Abrahams JP, Peters PJ, Ravelli RBG. - Ultramicroscopy. 2020 Nov;218:113091

Could Egg White Lysozyme be Solved by Single Particle Cryo-EM?
Zhang Y, Tammaro R, Peters PJ, Ravelli RBG. - J Chem Inf Model. 2020 May 26;60(5):2605-2613.


Maastricht University (UM)


We are looking for a hands-on person who is prepared to take a practical, experimental approach within a highly challenging project. Because of the interdisciplinary character of the project, she/he is able to work independently while being a good and pro-active independent team player. She/he holds a master degree in (nano)biology, (bio)chemistry, (bio)physics, (bio)mechanical engineering or related fields. This is an interdisciplinary project involving both science and engineering thereby creating societal impact and commercial value. Good writing and oral communication skills as well as a demonstrated affinity with high-end equipment and/or cell biology are required. Candidates should be fluent in English; knowledge of Dutch is not required.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1+3 years.

We offer an enthusiastic working environment within an ambitious international research team for 1.0 FTE. The appointment will be based on a one-year fixed-term contract. During this period, you will be given the opportunity to develop the skills and competencies required for the fulfilment of this position. Your performance will be reviewed in an assessment interview. Upon positive assessment, this fixed-term contract will be replaced with a contract for another three years. 

Salary € 2.443,- gross/month growing to € 3.122,- gross/month in the last year. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8,3% per year. We offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes, flexible employment conditions, working-from-home facilities and partially paid parental leave.
Facilities for sports and child care are available on our campus, which is only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre.

We have a highly regarded international school (United World College Maastricht) for children in the age from 2-18 years, equipping them with the attitudes, skills and that provides them access to international universities.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.
For more information, visit


Nanoscopy division of the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging institute (M4I)

The M4I Nanoscopy division has a state-of-the-art microscopy facility among which a correlative cryo-EM workflow consisting of a cryo-CorrSight, cryo-Scios dual FIB-SEM, and an Arctica cryo-TEM equipped with autoloader, phase plate, Falcon3 and Timepix3 electron counting camera. In addition, it includes two Tecnai Spirit 120kV TEMs, super-resolution light microscopy (3D-STED) and 2-photon microscopy for live cell imaging. The division of Nanoscopy forms together with the division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry the Multimodal Molecular Imaging institute. 

(M4I) in which more than 50 young scientist from whole over the world bring together a powerful palette of high-end, innovative imaging technologies. The training in the microscopy techniques, imaging processing and interpretation is ensured by our Microscopy CORE Lab, scientifically and technologically supporting in the microscopy field. We participate in and and have access to two KRIOS cryo-EMs at NeCEN  Our lab develops with our next-door ‘Instrument Development Engineering & Evaluation’ facility new technologies.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2022.144


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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