Detailed information about selected course/program
EU code
13.4 - Microbiology, Biotechnology
3 - PhD
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Bacterial Cell Biology
Development of an in vivo FRET assay for the screening of new antibiotics that inhibit the assembly of the bacterial division machinery
Language requirements
Academic requirements
Knowledge of DNA recombination techniques is a prerequisite, knowledge on microscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy and mathematics is an advantage but not a requirement. The work requires an affinity for experimental precision and detailed recording of the experiments. The candidate will give presentation in international conferences and is expected to produce three papers in peer-reviewed journals to be able to obtain a PhD.
Max available positions
The increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria demands the development of new antibiotics against preferably new targets. The common approach is to test natural compounds for their ability to kill bacteria or to design compounds that inhibit essential protein activities in vitro. In the former case the mode of action is not known and in the latter case, it is not known whether the compound will pass the impermeable barrier of the bacterial envelope. It would be much more efficient to have assays available that detect the target of the compound and its ability to pass the membrane(s) simultaneously. The bacterial cytoskeleton proteins MreB and FtsZ are essential for the recruitment of the elongasome involved in length growth and the divisome in involved in cell division, respectively. The aim of the project is to develop an assay that screens for the Inhibition of their polymerization and thus the assembly of the elongasome or divisome in living bacteria.
Go to homepage
34 months between Jul 1 2014 and Jul 1 2017
Contact person
Tanneke den Blaauwen (
Additional information
The PhD student will learn the following techniques: fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and FRET. Analysis of the Mic and IC50 of antibiotics. Several courses can be followed during the PhD project depending on the knowledge gaps of the candidate. National and international meetings will be attended. Further reading: L├Ąppchen, T., et al., (2008) Probing FtsZ and Tubulin with C8-substituted GTP Analogues Reveals Differences in their Nucleotide Binding Sites. Chem. & Biol. 15: 189-199. Alexeeva, S., et al., . (2010) Direct interactions of early and late assembling division proteins in Escherichia coli cells resolved by FRET. Mol Microbiol. 77: 384-398.van der Ploeg, et al., (2013) Co-localization and interaction between elongasome and divisome during a preparative cell division phase in Escherichia coli Mol Mic 87: 1045-1087.