PhD position - Interactions between the host and gut commensals

PhD position - Interactions between the host and gut commensals

Published Deadline Location
29 Nov 1 Dec Utrecht

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At the dept of Medical Microbiology, we study how the intestinal microbiota impacts health, disease, and therapy. In collaboration with a biotech company, we are seeking a PhD candidate to uncover interactions between commensal bacteria and the host.

Job description

The project aims to unravel which and how commensal bacterial species within the intestinal microbiota affect various cell types in the intestinal tract in health and disease. You will identify immunostimulatory and immunomodulatory bacterial species and uncover the molecular mechanisms that underly these effects they have on the host in simple and complex cell culture systems.
As a key member of the project team, you will be responsible for the progression of the project, perform molecular and cellular microbiology and immunology lab work, report progress and prepare presentations and publications. You can also be involved in the supervision of students, in teaching and in the preparation of project proposals.


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)


We welcome highly motivated candidates with a strong intrinsic interest in unraveling fundamental questions on host microbiome interactions using state-of-the-art complex cell culture and organoid technologies. The candidate requires a recent Master of Science’ degree in microbiology. As the project requires culturing anaerobic bacteria, cell culture (infection) models and molecular biological techniques, we strongly value expertise in these areas. In addition, expertise with working for or collaborating with a biopharmaceutical company is preferred. Finally, the ideal candidate has excellent communication skills, is proficient in English brings energy to the team and enjoys collaborative projects. Applicants should briefly explain to their interest when they apply in a brief (1 A4) motivation letter.

Conditions of employment

The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 3.677,00 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).


UMC Utrecht is one of the top-ranked academic medical centers in Europe and offers interesting career opportunities. The position is based in the research team of Dr. Marcel de Zoete at the Department of Medical Microbiology of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), which focusses on the role of the microbiota in health and disease, with a focus on elucidating underlying molecular mechanisms. The team is well embedded in the research groups at the department, which provide an active and highly collaborative research environment that studies pathological host-microbe interactions. The Department of Medical Microbiology and UCMCU has access to multiple core facilities that are useful for the project, e.g., a flow cytometry core facility, sequencing and computational core facility, and microscopy core facility.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • max. €3677 per month
  • University graduate
  • 2023-4106


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)

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Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX, Utrecht

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