Job Advertisement Leibniz-HKI-17/2023

The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (Leibniz-HKI, investigates the pathobiology of human-pathogenic fungi and identifies targets for the development of novel natural product-based antibiotics. The junior research group Adaptive Pathogenicity Strategies invites talented and highly qualified candidates to apply for a position as

Doctoral Researcher (f/div/m) in Adaptive Pathogenicity Strategies

for three years initially.

The immune system possesses elegant strategies to cope with potentially harmful invading microorganisms. Nevertheless, pathogens have evolved mechanisms to deal with the threats imposed by the immune system. Yeasts like Candida albicans are common commensals of the human microbiota, yet also major opportunistic fungal pathogens that frequently cause superficial and even fatal infections. The commensal co-existence with the human host allows co-evolution of fungal adaptation strategies in line with the threats imposed by the host, which are particularly represented by the immune system.

Research Area:

In this project, the successful applicant will investigate how C. albicans responds and adapts to immune mediators and how this influences commensalism and pathogenicity. The candidate will identify and characterize how immune mediators induce fungal adaptations and use in vitro model systems to investigate the impact on pathogenicity mechanisms and commensalism. The overarching goal is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which immune mediators induce fungal adaptations.

Candidate´s profile:

We expect a master´s degree (or equivalent) in life sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry, or microbiology). Furthermore, the applicant should be able to perform team-oriented as well as independent work. Experimental background in one or more of the following subjects is beneficial: immunology, microbiology, infection biology. Practical experience in cell culture, or fungal genetics is an advantage. Very good communication skills in English are a must.

We offer:

The successful candidate will be hosted in the junior research group Adaptive Pathogenicity Strategies of Dr. Mark S. Gresnigt. The Leibniz-HKI is embedded in the outstanding scientific environment of the Beutenberg Campus providing state-of-the-art research facilities and a highly integrative network of life science groups. We offer a multifaceted scientific project with excellent technical facilities, a place in a young, committed team, as well as strong scientific collaborations.

The PhD candidate will participate in the structured program of the International Leibniz Research School and can become an associated member of Jena School of Microbial Communication. Salary is paid according to German TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees).

For further information:

Dr. Mark S. Gresnigt | +49 3641 532-1305 |


Leibniz-HKI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It aims to increase the proportion of underrepresented groups in case of equal suitability. All qualified persons, regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other classification protected by law will receive consideration for employment.

Complete applications in English should include a cover letter, a CV containing a complete list of publications, a brief statement of research experiences, a certificate of study / transcript of records, the addresses of two possible referees, and should be submitted via the Leibniz-HKI online application system. The deadline for the advertisement is May 5, 2023, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.