PhD in synthetic biology by Webmaster News 2018-01-08 08:38:23

The Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute (formerly known as the Fungal Biodiversity Centre - CBS) is an independent research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, situated on the campus of the largest university in the Netherlands in Utrecht. It studies fungal biodiversity in the widest sense, focusing on three priority areas, agriculture, human health, and industry (indoor air and food). Presently there are 7 research groups with a total of about 100 employees. The institute maintains a large genetic resource of fungi and yeasts, which is exploited by research groups such as those of Pedro Crous (Evolutionary Phytopathology), Jos Houbraken (Applied and Industrial Mycology), Ferry Hagen and Sybren de Hoog (Origins of Pathogenicity in Clinical Fungi), Ronald de Vries (Fungal Physiology), Teun Boekhout (Yeast and Basidiomycete Research), Vincent Robert (Bioinformatics) and Jérôme Collemare (Fungal Natural Products). Additional information is available on our website:

The Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute invites applications for:

PhD in synthetic biology

full time (1.0 fte 38 hours)

Description of the function:
A PhD position is available in the Fungal Natural Products group. The successful applicant will focus on the exploitation of fungal genomes from understudied clades to identify and study gene clusters that are potentially involved in the production of novel fungal natural products.

Specifically, the project involves:

  • Identification of SM gene clusters in available fungal genomes
  • Heterologous expression of SM gene clusters and characterization of biological activities
  • Characterization of gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of novel antibacterial compounds
  • Elucidation and engineering of biosynthetic pathways

This project aims at identifying novel antibiotics and contributes to solving the increasing problem of multi-drug resistant pathogenic bacteria. The PhD will be performed in close collaboration with a PhD student in the group of Jeroen den Hertog at the Hubrecht Institute, and will involve collaborations within the Westerdijk Institute, Utrecht University and University Medical Centre of Utrecht.

We are looking for candidates with:

  • MSc in molecular biology
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written
  • Team player attitude
  • Experience with nucleic acid extraction, PCR and cloning is required.
  • Experience with microbiology, especially with fungi
  • Knowledge in bioinformatics or organic chemistry is appreciated
  • Experience with genome and transcriptome analyses is appreciated

The position has to start before April 1st 2018

Duration: Initially one year with a potential extension.

Salary: According to “CAO-Nederlandse Universiteiten” (CAO-NU) € 2.222,- in the first year, increasing to € 2.840,- in the fourth year, excluding 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% year-end bonus. We offer an extensive package of fringe benefits.

Location: Utrecht Science Park, de Uithof, The Netherlands.

Information: For additional information please contact Dr. Jérôme Collemare at or visit the website

Interested? Please send your application including curriculum vitae, motivation letter and contact details of at least three references by e-mail to, stating vacancy WES-2017-08 in the subject line, before January 8th, 2018.

Any acquisition further to this advertisement will not be appreciated.