POSTDOC – Epigenetic regulation of innate immune responses to bacterial infection
the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)

  • Location: Bilthoven
  • Temporary for a period of 24 months (from 1-4-2020 till 1-04-2022)
  • 36 hours a week
  • Salary: schaal 10 (Min €2.737 – Max. €4.400 (bruto))
  • Apply before: February 21th

Job Description
Prevention and control of life threatening diseases such as whooping cough, pneumococcal and meningococcal diseases has been mainly accomplished by the use of vaccines. Although the incidence of these infectious diseases has dramatically decreased compared to the pre-vaccine era, considerable number of (fatal) cases still occurs.  In order to improve existing measures to control vaccine preventable diseases, it is of great importance to understand how the immune system protects us against the causative agents. In addition, it is also crucial to consider pathogen adaptation and to study the effect that emerging strains can have on the immune response of vaccinated individuals.

The innate immune system is the first line of defense that plays an important role in sensing and killing pathogens and in addition, orchestrates the induction and steering of the adaptive immune response. Pathogens can modulate the host immune response by among others altering the chromatin structure and transcriptional program of the host that can either promote defense or benefit the pathogen to establish a successful infection. The general goal of this project is to get a better understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying innate immunity to pathogens. The focus is on epigenetic reprograming of innate cells upon exposure to Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of  whooping cough.

Using a multidisciplinary approach that includes microbiology, molecular and cell biology as well as biochemistry, genomics and innate immunity, this projects aims to uncover the role of chromatin modifications of innate cells (monocytes/macrophages) upon exposure to B. pertussis on the

(i)  transcriptional program and

(ii)  immune cell function.

We are also interested in elucidating whether monocytes from vaccinated individuals can be trained or tolerized by different emerging B. pertussis strains for different inflammatory stimuli and to determine the epigenetic reprograming involved.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, dedicated postdoctoral fellow with an academic degree in biomedical sciences with a strong publication track record, specialized in the field of molecular biology and immunology who is interested in investigating host-pathogen interactions.

You have the following skills

  • experience with immunological, and molecular techniques including transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq), chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIPseq) and transcriptional profiling (RNA-seq).
  • experience in bioinformatics for analyzing  large-scale datasets.
  • result oriented and work effectively both alone and in a team.
  • can bridge different disciplines and know how to translate the results to address public health problems.
  • contribute to an open, stimulating and pleasant working environment and actively participate in scientific discussions.
  • Excellent English communication skills, both verbal and written.

We offer

  • Personal growth and career development is very important to the national government and it provides plenty of possibilities. The national government has a number of individual choices in composing your package of benefits.
  • Temporary for a period of 24 months (from 1-4-2020 till 1-04-2022)
  • 36 hours a week
  • Salary: schaal 10 (Min €2.737 – Max. €4.400 (bruto))

Apply digitally
Please use the digital applicationform with the below link. The government attaches value to a diverse and inclusive organization. Working in diverse teams makes us more effective, innovative and the work more enjoyable. Everyone is therefore invited to apply.

Please send us your apllication through the digital applicationform and letter your motivation to Debbie van Baarle, Head of the IMM department.

Vaccination is mandatory.

Apply online

No agencies.

Keywords: Vacancy, Research, PhD, Immunological, Molecular techniques, Laboratory research, Bilthoven, Utrecht.