The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Chemistry are looking for a:

PhD candidate || Identification and characterization of small molecule inhibitors of type VII protein secretion systems (1.0 fte)
Vacancy number: 22-399

Project description
This project aims to identify and characterize small molecule inhibitors of type VII protein secretion systems as a novel target for antibacterial agents. Type VII secretion systems play essential roles in host infections by tuberculosis causing mycobacteria and therefore represent attractive targets for therapeutic inhibition. The PhD candidate will develop T7SS inhibitors by structure guided rational design in combination with high-throughput screening methodology and characterize their efficiency using biochemical and microbiological techniques. The PhD candidate must be flexible and communicative and able to work in biochemistry, biophysics and microbiology labs. 

Please have a look at our recent publications for our research on type VII secretion systems. Famelis et al. (2019) Nature 576:321–325; Mietrach et al. Research Square ; Rivera-Calzada et al. (2021) Nature Reviews Microbiology 19:567–584 

Selection criteria
•    Master degree in biochemistry, life-science technology or equivalent;
•    Proven interest in either protein structure and function or the molecular basis of membrane protein transporters;
•    Previous experience with either drug screening, the biochemical and microbiological characterization of inhibitors;
•    Proficient in English with excellent oral and written communication skills;
•    Works efficiently both independently and as part of a team of international researchers.

Our organisation
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 is 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 organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 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.

The chemistry and life science research in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) is organized around two major research areas: ‘Chemical Biology’ and ‘Energy & Sustainability’. The institute’s research themes illustrate the central position of chemistry between biology, medicine and physics. The various research topics carried out within these themes are ideal for executing interdisciplinary research.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After positive evaluation of the progress of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2.540 to € 3.245 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 candidates are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. 

Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

If you have any questions regarding the application procedure, please contact Thomas Kalkman (management assistant), Enquiries related to the project can be made to Dr. Sebastian Geibel, 

Please send your application to Thomas Kalkman,  including the following documents:
•    A letter of motivation;
•    An updated CV;
•    Copy of master’s thesis or any other publication (if available);
•    The (preliminary) transcripts of your MSc studies and copy of your degree;

Application deadline is August 8, 2022. Interviews are planned to take place between August 12 and 19, 2022.

Apply now

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