WES-2018-06 by Webmaster News 2018-09-07 09:17:14

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 (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 eight research groups with a total of about 100 employees and guests. The institute maintains a large culture collection of fungi and yeasts, and research groups such as those of Pedro Crous (Evolutionary Phytopathology), Jos Houbraken (Applied and Industrial Mycology), Ronald de Vries (Fungal Physiology), Teun Boekhout (Yeast and Basidiomycete Research), Vincent Robert (Bioinformatics), Jérôme Collemare (Fungal Natural Products) and Ferry Hagen (Medical Mycology).

The group of Dr. Ferry Hagen currently has a vacancy for a

PhD student full time (1.0 fte, 38 hours)

to work on Evolution of fungal pathogenicity using phenotypic and whole genome analyses

Description of the function: Fungal outbreaks have emerged during the past two decades which were caused by previously rare genotypes or even novel species. These outbreaks have affected the health of humans and animals, mostly mammals and amphibians. Among these outbreaks are the white-nose-syndrome in bats, the global killing of amphibians by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, various Cryptococcus deuterogattii outbreaks and the global emergence of Candida auris. The latter was only a decade ago described as a new species and a few years later the first major outbreaks were reported. As there are hundreds of apparently non-pathogenic Candida species it is likely that some of these become pathogenic and/or resistant to antifungals, or that hybridization events will create these pathogenic species. The outbreaks caused by otherwise rare Candida species questions the mechanisms involved in pathogenicity and how this has evolved. The aim of this research project is to understand the evolution of pathogenicity among pathogenic Candida species, compared to those that do not. Phenotypic traits are studied by large-scale nutrient screening, the host-microbe interaction is investigated, and correlations with the genetic composition of each species are made by using whole genome data to determine which genetic content is responsible for increased pathogenicity.

Requirements: The highly motivated candidate should have an M.Sc. degree in Biology or Biomedical Sciences, excellent communication and social skills and affinity with fungal biology. Experience with standard molecular laboratory techniques such as gDNA isolation, PCR and sequencing is required. Experience with data mining from whole genomes is of added value.

Duration: Initially one year with a potential extension.

Starting date: negotiable

Salary: According to “CAO-Nederlandse Universiteiten” (CAO-NU) € 2.266,- in the first year, increasing to € 2.897,- 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. Ferry Hagen at or visit the website

Interested? Please send your application including curriculum vitae and contact details of at least three references by e-mail to, stating vacancy WES-2018-06 in the subject line, before September 6th, 2018.

Any acquisition further to this advertisement will not be appreciated.