PhD on Reversal of antibiotic resistance by non-antibiotic helper drugs, University of Copenhagen

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PhD on Reversal of antibiotic resistance by non-antibiotic helper drugs

The Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship commencing 1st September 2012 or soon thereafter. The application deadline is the 15th July 2012.
Project description
Recent studies have shown that transcription of antibiotic resistance genes can be reduced by exposure to thioridazine, a phenothiazine drug used to treat psychotic disorders. We hypothesize that infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)and other multidrug-resistant bacteria of medical and veterinary interest can be treated by combining antibiotics with a "helper drug" inhibiting expression of the relevant resistance gene. During the first year, chemical libraries and microbial fermentation products will be screened using a bioassay for rapid detection of compounds inhibiting gene expression. Thioridazine will be used as a positive control. In the second year, the most effective compounds will be tested for their ability to restore antibiotic susceptibility in resistant strains. Reversal of antibiotic resistance will be assessed by measuring reduction in the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of antibiotic by the broth microdilution method as well as by quantifying expression of the target resistance gene by reverse transcriptase (RT) PCR. The concentration of "helper drug" needed to significantly reduce the MIC below the resistance breakpoint will be estimated ex vivo in serum. The proof of concept will be validated in vivo by a mouse peritonitis model.
The project is in collaboration with the EU project TRAIN-ASAP ( Research will be planned and carried out in collaboration with the Southern University of Denmark and Ktedogen (Italy). The fellow is expected to contribute to teaching and to spend a minimum of six months abroad.
Principal supervisor
Professor with special duties (PMSO)   
Luca Guardabassi                                                                
Direct Phone: (+45) 35332745.
Department of Veterinary Disease Biology
University of Copenhagen 
Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at SUND are:
  • Manage and carry through your research project
  • Take PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Work in an industry program abroad for two years
  • Participate in international congresses
  • Teach and disseminate your research

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
  • A master´s degree in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Biology or Biotechnology
  • Capacity to design experiments related to the scope of the project

  • The grade point average achieved in the MSc education
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme
  • Documented laboratory experience in microbiology

  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • Language skills
  • Interpersonal skills

Formal requirements
The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree.
The successful applicant of the PhD scholarship must pass an enrolment in our Graduate School before the Faculty can finish the letter of employment. The Graduate School strives to give our students the best international career prospects within our main research areas.
NOTE: According to the rules of the Marie Curie programme the applicant must be nationals of a State other than that of the host organisation. At the start of their fellowship/activity, researchers may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference deadline for eligibility. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
Terms of employment
The position will be filled according to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The post is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.
Application Procedure
 Apply by clicking "Apply online" below.
Applications - in English - must include:
  • Cover Letter, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Diploma and transcripts of records 
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any), peer reviewed and other
  • Personal Recommendations
  • A maximum of 3 relevant scientific works which the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment.

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation Executive Order no 284 of 25. April 2008.
By the end of September 2012, all applicants will have received information regarding the evaluation of their application.
The application must be received no later than the 15th July 2012. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.
For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisors.
General information about PhD programmes is available at
Apply online

The Faculty of Life Sciences is one of Europe´s leading university environments in the areas of food, health, plants, biotechnology, natural resources, the environment and related academic areas.
Our research and degree programmes are centred on knowledge and tools that can help secure a brighter future for humans, animals and plants.
Read more about The Faculty of Life Sciences at
Deadline: 15-07-2012
Publisher: Det Biovidenskabelige Fakultet
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