Job Advertisement HKI-07/2018

The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute – (HKI) investigates the pathobiology of human-pathogenic fungi and identifies targets for the development of novel natural product-based antibiotics. The department of Microbial Pathogenicity Mechanisms (MPM) offers

Master´s Thesis positions

Topic: Pathogenicity mechanisms of human pathogenic yeasts

Human pathogenic fungi frequently cause infections of skin and mucosa, however, they are also capable of causing life threatening mycoses. The Department of Microbial Pathogenicity Mechanisms (MPM) ( at the Hans Knöll Institute (HKI), investigate infections caused by human pathogenic fungi. Research is focused on the pathogenesis of mycoses due to yeasts such as Candida albicans or C. glabrata. In contrast to most other human pathogenic fungi, Candida species are part of the normal human microbial flora. However, if the natural barrier of the host is breached, or if the immune system is weakened, Candida is able to cause infections. In these cases, the fungus can overgrow the microbial flora and may enter deeper tissue layers or even organs. We aim to find the factors involved in the ability of fungi to cause diseases and to elucidate the host response to fungal infections. Furthermore, we investigate the commensal stage of human-associated Candida species. To this end, we apply methods of cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, immunology and biochemistry with C. albicans and C. glabrata as model organisms. By this means, we want to learn more about the pathogenicity factors of this fungus and possibly find novel targets for future antifungal drugs.

We offer (project associated) Project modules, Specialization modules and Master’s thesis projects for MSc Biochemistry and MSc Microbiology (and related degree programmes) students dealing with the following (or related) topics:

  • Interaction of Candida albicans with intestinal epithelial cells
  • Interaction of Candida albicans with commensal bacteria
  • Dissecting the hemolytic activity of Candida albicans
  • Interaction of Candida glabrata with macrophages: persistence gene
  • Dissecting the pathogenicity mechanisms of Candida auris
  • Dissection of the commensal-to-pathogen shift of Candida albicans
  • Inflammatory mediators influencing the commensal-pathogenic shift of Candida albicans.

Each project will deal with an aspect of the topic “Pathogenicity mechanisms/immunology of human pathogenic yeasts” and will be supervised by a PhD student or a postdoc. Applicants should be interested in microbial infection biology and should have good knowledge in microbiology, molecular biology, immunology and/or biochemistry (preferred students studying M.Sc. Biochemistry and M. Sc. Microbiology). Beside good knowledge and skills we expect excellent abilities to work in a team. The work will be done in a very well equipped S2 laboratory.

Further information

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hube | +49 3641 532-1473 |


Complete applications in English should include a CV and certificate of study as a single pdf-file until June 3rd, 2018 to