Website Wageningen University & Research (WUR)

We are looking for a postdoc candidate for a fully funded 3-year post-doctoral research opportunity entitled “Novel plant(like)-derived antimicrobial modulators”. The project goal is to study bacterial growth modulation or inhibition by phytochemicals from novel plant(-like) sources (e.g. seaweed), in order to identify promising candidates for novel antimicrobial agents. The work is performed in collaboration with researchers at Wageningen University Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Wageningen Food Safety Research.

What will you do?
As postdoc Novel plant(like)-derived antimicrobial modulators, you will:

  • use analytical techniques (e.g. liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry) to characterize the phytochemicals of interest in complex extracts;
  • use in-vitro cell-based assays to study the antimicrobial (modulation) properties of candidate phytochemicals against target pathogens and
  • use targeted and metagenome analyses to study the effect of selected treatments on the microbiome.

As such, this project should provide a systematic chemical and antimicrobial characterization of candidate phytochemicals from novel plant(-like) sources and a deeper understanding of their effects on microbiomes.

Antimicrobial persistence and resistance is a challenge for our current and future healthcare. Irrational use of antibiotics in agriculture systems is known to contribute to the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in our environment and food. Thus, there is a growing interest from science and industry to find potent natural antimicrobial (modulators) with novel mechanisms of action to substitute traditional ones.

Plants produce an enormous diversity of secondary metabolites with potential inhibitory or modulatory properties against pathogenic bacteria. Plant metabolites have shown promising and diverse mechanisms of action as antimicrobial agents, with the potential to be used as functional and natural ingredients in animal feed. At the same time, before applying antimicrobials with broader spectrum of activities to our farming systems, we want to ensure that the natural ingredients do not have an undesired impact on non-pathogenic bacteria present in the gut of farm animals.

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact dr. Carla Araya-Cloutier, email: [email protected].
For more information about the procedure, please contact Mw. Gertrude Bakx, email: [email protected].

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 26 August 2022. Applications will be reviewed in the week after closing. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on 7 and 8 September 2022.

To apply for this job please visit