PhD position (E13 TV-L, 65%) – Intestinal cell biomechanics during bacterial infection

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Germany,
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 20 Dec 2021

The Bastounis lab in the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology & Infection Medicine (Cluster of

Excellence “Controlling Microbes to Fight Infections”, CMFI EXC 2124) at the University of

Tübingen is looking to fill one PhD position (E13 TV-L, 65%) as part of a DFG funded project

in collaboration with the Constantinou lab at TU Braunschweig. The earliest starting date for

this position will be on 01.03.2022. The position is funded for a period of three years. The

available position focuses on deciphering host-pathogen interactions using an organotypic

stretching device and biomechanical approaches.

Specific research project

During infection with the food-borne intracellular bacterial pathogen L. monocytogenes, large

infected domains in epithelial cell monolayers are forced to extrude to form 3D mounds due

to the collective and cooperative onslaught triggered by their uninfected neighbors. This mechanical

competition between uninfected and bacterially-infected cells is driven by innate immunity

signals and appears to limit pathogen dissemination through the epithelium (Bastounis

et al, Developmental Cell, 2021). The project seeks to investigate how biochemical and physical cues in

concert orchestrate intracellular bacterial dissemination in epithelial cells in monolayer in a

multifunctional cell stretching platform, that will allow us to mimic peristalsis-like cellular

stretching, similar to what epithelial cells are experiencing in the intestine.

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