Universiteit Leiden

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PhD candidate , Lysosomal delivery of intracellular pathogens

Vacancy number
Function type
PhD positions
External/ internal
Placed on
18 January 2022
Closing date
14 February 2022 Vacancy closed

The Faculty of Science / the Institute for Biology is looking for a

PhD candidate, Lysosomal delivery of intracellular pathogens

Vacancy number: 22-023

Key responsibilities

The PhD candidate will work on the project “LysoDriver: Driving intracellular pathogens to degradation by reinforcing lysosomal delivery” funded by the Dutch Research Council. The global rise in antibiotic resistance threatens our ability to fight notorious intracellular pathogens like Mycobacteria and Salmonella, the causative agents of tuberculosis and gastroenteritis. This problem has spurred research into novel host-directed therapeutic approaches aimed at harnessing immune defenses rather than targeting bacteria directly. The PhD project focuses on the membrane protein DRAM1, a key mediator of lysosomal activity, which we have identified as a host resistance factor that protects against intracellular infections. The goal is to elucidate how DRAM1 cooperates with other proteins to promote the delivery of bacterial pathogens to lysosomes. To this end, the PhD candidate will use novel proximity-based proteomics technology to identify the proteins that interact with DRAM1 in infected cells. Furthermore, the PhD candidate will study how DRAM1 and its interaction partners cooperate in driving pathogens to lysosomal degradation.

Selection Criteria

  • MSc-degree in biology, biomedical sciences, life sciences or a related discipline (also candidates close to graduating are encouraged to apply)
  • Theoretical knowledge of immunology, especially innate immunity
  • Practical experience in molecular and cellular biology
  • Affinity and preferably experience with proteomics, confocal microscopy, mammalian cell culture, and/or zebrafish disease models
  • English conversation, writing skills, and presentation skills
  • Communication and social skills

Research at our faculty

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2300 staff and almost 5000  students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

For more information, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science  and  https://workingat.leiden.edu/

The Institute for Biology

The research within the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) aims to work on the science base of biodiversity and health, which is reflected in our leading principle Harnessing Biodiversity for Health. We perform innovative curiosity-driven research to answer fundamental questions, and solutions-driven research to help solving major societal challenges. The latter include protecting nature’s biodiversity, creating sustainable biotechnology and agriculture and increasing good health. Our research focuses on four Research Themes: Bioactive Molecules, Host-Microbe Interactions, Development & Disease and Evolution & Biodiversity. Located in a thriving scientific environment with our Faculty of Sciences,  Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Leiden Bioscience Park, IBL offers an exciting, internationally oriented and inclusive place to work and study.  

Terms and conditions 

We offer a  full-time 1 year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from 2.443 to 3.122 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science https://www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl/. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries can be made to  Prof. dr. Annemarie H. Meijer (a.h.meijer@biology.leidenuniv.nl). If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Sylvia Maas (jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl).


To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents (combined in a single pdf file) quoting the vacancy number:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • MSc grade list
  • Names and contact details of two previous supervisors who may be contacted for a reference

Only applications received before 14 February 2022 can be considered.

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