Phd Candidate In Antibiotic Resistance University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science – Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences Netherlands

Phd Candidate In Antibiotic Resistance


Publication date               2 May 2019

Closing date                   31 May 2019

Level of education           Master's degree

Hours    38 hours per week

Salary indication               €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month

Vacancy number              19-269


The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the largest institutes of the Faculty of Science. Its approximately 230 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: 1) Cell & Systems Biology, 2) Neurosciences, 3) Microbiology and 4) Green  Life Sciences.


The research group on antibiotic resistance investigates the mechanisms by which microbes become resistant to antibiotics.  In this context we are seeking for a PhD candidate to do research on the molecular biology and microbial physiology of the acquisition of resistance.

Project description


The aim of the project is to document the chain of events within the microbe that leads to development of de novo resistance upon exposure to antibiotics. The research on molecular mechanisms causing resistance is essential to understand the relationship between exposure and resistance. Several lines of research, including our own, have indicated that the downstream formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a common element in the sequence of events leading to cell death upon exposure to bactericidal antimicrobials. The incorrect mismatch repair after ROS induced DNA damage contributes to the demise of the cell. Possibly the same DNA damage and incorrect repair might in rare cases in individual cells lead to mutations that cause resistance. These cells can grow out and outcompete the other cells in the culture. Large numbers of mutations and DNA rearrangement have been observed during the process of de novo development of resistance.


This project intends to investigate the role of ROS in resistance development from a molecular mechanistic angle. Mutants have already been to identify the formation of 8-Oxo-2'-guanosine and 8-Oxo-2'-dGTP as a crucial step in the ROS-related killing. We intend to use the same or similar mutants to examine the role of these compounds in development of resistance. One part will explore the consequences of the ROS-induced SOS system. Another part will focus on cellular signal transduction, possibly the role of Bi-Cyclic-AMP and other known cellular signals that are part of the system regulating energy metabolism. The role of individual mutations within the cellular signal transduction system will be examined utilizing CRISPR-Cas9 and related molecular techniques.


The knowledge gained in this project can be applied to design optimal treatment protocols and to identify the Achilles heel of the cell in respect to defence against antimicrobial agents. Therefore, it will provide information needed to understand development of resistance, while at the same time identifying targets for more detailed adjustments to application systems that can achieve therapeutic goals at even less resistance costs.



For this position an MSc degree in molecular microbiology or a related field is required.  You have proven experimental skills and a good academic record. You are fluent in English, both oral and written. Please specify in your application the laboratory techniques you are familiar with. 

Further Information


Information about this position may be obtained from:


    Prof. Benno ter Kuile

    T: +31 (0)6 46596684


    Prof. Stanley Brul

    T: +31 (0)6 13054109




The full-time appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of four years (18 months plus a further 30 months after a positive evaluation) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,325 in the first year to €2,972 in the final year, according to the Dutch salary scales for PhD candidates. This is excl. 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end of year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Job application


The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


Are you interested?

Applications may only be submitted online by clicking the link below.

Your application must include a CV (including contact details of two academic referees and specification of your laboratory techniques ) and a letter of motivation. Please combine these documents in one single attachment and also mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

To enable us to process your application immediately, please quote vacancy number 19-269 and the position you are applying for.

The closing date is 31 May 2019. #LI-DNP    


No agencies please

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