If you are interested in joining the lab, please send an e-mail to Johan Bengtsson-Palme (firstname.lastname@example.org). Any current openings for specific positions in the lab are listed below.
Doctoral student: Effects of Antibiotics on Microbial Communities
Application deadline: December 9, 2019
Project description: Rapid antibiotic resistance development threatens our ability to perform modern healthcare. Alarmingly, there are indications that antibiotics not only drive increased resistance, but also enhance bacterial invasiveness and virulence. Thus, future pathogens could become multi-resistant “superbugs” for which we not only lack treatment options, but also cause more severe infections and spread more easily. Unfortunately, we know virtually nothing about this kind of development, where antibiotic exposure accelerates acquisition of other traits. This project will use large-scale techniques, such as DNA sequencing (transposon sequencing and metagenomics), to investigate how sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics affect microbial communities.
Specifically, the project will examine how the ability for bacteria to colonize and invade established microbial communities is impacted by antibiotics. The project will also explore how antibiotics influence the interactions between different species in bacterial communities and if this may change their ability to withstand invasions. The goal is to identify which genes that are involved in all these processes and gain an understanding for the mechanisms that are important for stability in microbial communities. The project will also investigate if the genes that are important for colonization and invasion processes under antibiotic exposure also are involved in antibiotic resistance. Such genes are candidates to spread in bacterial populations, and could therefore become future resistance factors in pathogens, directly connecting environmental antibiotic exposure to human health risks.
We look for a candidate who is either an experimentalist or a bioinformatician; that is experience of experimental laboratory work and/or experience with bioinformatics/computational biology is meriting. Previous experience with microbial community analysis or experiments is also a merit, as is previous work in the microbiological field. Insights into antibiotic resistance development is an advantage, as well as an understanding of ecological and evolutionary theory. Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English are desirable, as well as good cooperation ability.
The project is fairly open-ended in the sense that the actual working tasks can be adapted to the candidate who gets the position. The project will be performed as a collaboration between the research groups of Joakim Larsson and Johan Bengtsson-Palme and will be tightly linked to the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe). Although Prof. Joakim Larsson will formally be the main supervisor (at least in the beginning of the project), the work will mostly be carried out in the Bengtsson-Palme group (we share lab spaces).
We are always looking for talented master and internship students who would like to do a thesis (or other type of) project in their lab. If you think that you would be a good fit for the lab’s research themes, please send your CV and a short description of yourself to Johan Bengtsson-Palme (email@example.com). If you are an international student, we essentially require the exchange to be done through one of the established channels (e.g. ERASMUS), as it otherwise is a big hassle setting the project up.