KU Leuven
Exploration of Gut Microbial Community Dynamics in Vitro
KU Leuven
KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.
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Published: 2 months ago
Application deadline: Jul 31
Location: Leuven, Belgium
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Exploration of Gut Microbial Community Dynamics in Vitro

(ref. BAP-2018-68)

The Laboratory of Microbial Systems Biology is looking for a motivated PhD candidate who is interested in gut microbial ecology. The young lab, started in 2016, is part of the Molecular Bacteriology unit at the Rega Institute and aims at improving our understanding of microbial community structure and dynamics.

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The human gut microbiota is a highly complex ecosystem consisting of thousands of species interacting with one another and with the host. Despite several large-scale sequencing studies, it is far from being understood. Here, we plan to investigate the gut microbiota from a different angle, by studying a synthetic community composed of several representative gut microorganisms. We plan to monitor species abundances and the concentrations of key metabolites in well-controlled conditions in vitro. Our goal is to learn more about the interactions between gut species and how they shape community dynamics. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Raes at the Rega Institute and Prof. Bernaerts at the Faculty of Engineering Science. The successful candidate will have access to state-of-the-art anaerobic culturing and microfermentation equipment.


The candidate should have a solid background in microbiology and molecular biology, enjoy wet lab work, be able to work independently and be passionate about gut microbiology. Basic skills in bacterial pure culture techniques (incl. growth media optimization, microscopy, metabolic characterization, and cryopreservation) and wet lab experience with anaerobic microorganisms are a plus. Applicants should have a Master degree in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Bioscience Engineering, Biotechnology or equivalent with at least a distinction, obtained in September 2018 at the latest. A proof of proficiency in English is a requirement.

  • full-time 4-year contract
  • enrolment at one of the top universities in Europe
  • exciting research environment
  • competitive salary 

Please submit a cover letter, a CV including obtained grades, and a list with at least two references (with name, function, email, address and phone number) through the online application tool. The PhD will start at the beginning of October 2018. For more information, please contact Prof. Faust at: karoline.faust@kuleuven.be

You can apply for this job no later than July 31, 2018 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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