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Post-doctoral position on “Lysogenic conversion in marine Vibrio bacteria”, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen

A 2-year Post-doctoral position on bacteriophage-host interactions is offered at the Marine Biological Section, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The position starts 1. January 2018 and will be associated with the research project “Lysogenic conversion in marine Vibrio bacteria: Bacteriophage-driven dissemination of virulence factors in environmental bacterial communities” funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research. The project involves partners from Danish Technical University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  
Prophages are genomes of phages that have become integrated in the bacterial host genome upon infection by a temperate phage. Here they remain dormant until conditions favor reactivation and lysis of the host cell. The prophage genome thus represents a potential molecular time bomb in the host genome which at any time can induce and kill its host. However, prophages also have direct influence on the genetic composition of the host  and potentially enrich the host cell with new beneficial genes (lysogenic conversion), for example by encoding virulence and fitness factors in bacterial pathogens. 
The objective of the project is to investigate the genetic mechanisms and environmental controls of phage-driven virulence in marine Vibrio bacteria by quantifying phage-mediated transformation of harmless Vibrio bacteria into pathogens of humans, fish, shellfish and corals. The project covers 3 main topics of investigation: 1) Characterization of Vibrio prophages and their distribution in the marine metagenome, 2) Examination of the effects of prophage genes on host phenotype, and 3) Analysis of prophage distribution, dynamics and environmental controls.  
The work will entail a combination of microbiological analyses and molecular and bioinformatic approaches (e.g. Real-Time PCR, high-throughput sequencing and genome analysis using Geneious), in association with laboratory experiments. Further, the work will include some administrative task associated with project management, including preparation annual reports and organization of project meetings. 
The successful candidate will become an integrated part of the research group of Mathias Middelboe. The group works with many aspects of marine microbial ecology but bacteriophage genomics, ecology and potential use in disease control are the main research areas in the group. Research stays at the partner institutions of 1-3 months can be expected. The project will be carried out at the Marine Biological Section located in Helsingør, 45 km north of Copenhagen. 
Applicants should hold a PhD degree in marine microbiology. The position is open to both Danish and international applicants. Experimental experience with phages infecting Vibrio hosts and experience with bioinformatic analysis of phage and host genomes would be considered as an asset. The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant; i.e. publications will be a strong asset. 
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. 
Salary and terms of employment 
Terms of employment and payment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). For post docs the monthly salary is based on seniority and is currently between DKK 32,745 and DKK 34,476 plus pension contribution and the possibility to negotiate further supplement. 
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. 
Further information  
For further information on the project contact Prof. Mathias Middelboe (Email:  Phone.: +45 35321991). See also for information about the research group and its ongoing research). Information about the Marine Biological Section, University of Copenhagen can be found at  
How to apply 
Applications must be in English, submitted electronically and include: 
  • A cover letter describing motivation, project-related research experience and personal qualities 
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Complete list of publications 
  • PDF files of the two most important publications 
  • Copy of the PhD diploma or documentation for planned PhD defense 
  • Names and contact details for two referees  
Please forward your application via the job portal of The University of Copenhagen at Job Portal. Press “APPLY NOW” to fill in the application form. The deadline for the application is 1. November 2017 at 11:59 PM CET. 

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Ansøgningsfrist: 01-11-2017
Ansættelsesdato: 01-01-2018
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Biologisk Institut

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