PhD students or postdocs on the gut microbiome in human health and drug response

Updated: 21 days ago
Deadline: 30 May 2021

Department The Department of Genetics
Work location Groningen
Apply no later than 30 May 2021
Working environment

PhD students/postdocs working on these projects will be expected to:

  • have an MSc degree (for PhD) or PhD degree (for postdoc) in bioinformatics, microbial genetics, genomics, statistics and machine learning.

  • have experience with metabolic reconstruction and biochemistry are highly appreciated.

  • be highly motivated and can work independently.

  • have excellent communication skills in English, orally and writing.

  • be a team player.

Job description

The gut microbiome plays an important role in human health and is reorganized as an important player in personalized medicine. Recent research has begun to highlight the importance of the gut microbiome in drug metabolism and drug response. On the one hand, drugs can change intestinal microenvironments and affect bacterial growth, composition and function. On the other, the gut microbiome can directly influence an individual’s response to a specific drug by enzymatically transforming drug structure and altering its bioavailability, bioactivity or toxicity. This project aims to identify microbial factors (taxa abundance, metabolic pathway and bacterial genetic variants) in drug metabolism using the LifeLines-10K cohort, where detailed information on genetics, microbiome, disease and drug usage is all available. The candidate will conduct systematic genetic, metagenomic and epidemiological analyses to identify which factors can explain the inter-individual variation in drug metabolism and use machine-learning algorithm to build sophisticated model to predict individual’s drug response.


  • Doestzada et al. Pharmacomicrobiomics: a novel route towards personalized medicine? Protein & Cell (2018) 432–445

  • Weersma et al. Interaction between drugs and the gut microbiome. Gut (2020) 69:195-205

  • Chen et al. The long-term genetic stability and individual specificity of the human gut microbiome. CELL (2021).

  • Gacesa et al. The Dutch Microbiome Project defines factors that shape the healthy gut microbiome. doi:

What do we need

This project is funded by the ERC-CoG project BugDrug and has a close link to the UMCG microbiome research group. We have an enthusiastic team and have published several impact papers on the gut microbiome. The Department of Genetics at the University Medical Center Groningen is an energetic, dynamic and international environment with state-of-the-art laboratory and computing technology.

What do we offer

A full-time PhD contract for 4 years and an excellent environment for further development. First, a temporary one-year position will be offered with the option of renewal for another 3 years. Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.495,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.196,- (scale PhD) in the final (4th) year, based on a full-time appointment. Or a full-time postdoc contract for 3 years and an excellent environment for further development. Your salary will be a maximum of € 4.615,- gross per month (scale 10), depending on your qualifications and relevant experience, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC). English:

More information
For more information, please contact:

  • Prof. dr. Jingyuan Fu, e-mail address:

  • Prof. dr. Sasha Zhernakova, e-mail address:

Applying for a job

You can apply for the position by providing a motivation letter, your CV, and names of three referees. Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until 30 May 2021.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

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