The International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunology (IMPRS-IDI) is looking to recruit one outstanding PhD student for a project in Dr. Igor Iatsenko’s research group “Genetics of host-microbe interactions” at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology starting in 2024 in Berlin.

Project Description

The Iatsenko lab utilizes the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a genetic model to investigate conserved host defense mechanisms, pathogen virulence factors that mediate immune evasion, and the role of microbiota in infection outcomes. Our primary focus lies in unravelling the pathogenesis of polymicrobial infections. While the recognition of the polymicrobial nature of infections is growing, the prevalence, microbial composition, and impact of such infections on natural Drosophila populations remain unknown. Therefore, our project aims to achieve the following objectives: 1) Estimate the prevalence and microbial composition of polymicrobial infections in natural Drosophila populations. 2) Investigate the effects of isolated polymicrobial communities versus individual microbes on the host. 3) Decipher the mechanisms that govern inter-microbial interactions during selected polymicrobial infections.

We are looking for

We are seeking creative and highly motivated applicants from all over the world with strong experimental lab skills in microbiology or Drosophila infection model. Candidates with interest in mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and microbe-microbe interactions are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have an excellent M.Sc. or equivalent degree in biology, microbiology, immunology or related discipline. Knowledge in one or more of the following topics is beneficial: polymicrobial infections, bacterial genetics, host-pathogen interactions, infection biology, microbiome, microbial interactions, innate immunity, Drosophila genetics, invertebrate pathology.

We offer

  • Cutting edge research and training opportunities with access to state-of-the-art facilities
  • an excellent scientific network
  • a prestigious graduate school program with a project-adapted curriculum (training courses, lectures etc on scientific, technical and complementary skill topics) and a strong PhD student community
  • the opportunity for travel to present your work
  • a stimulating international and multi-disciplinary research environment on a thriving campus in the heart of Berlin

Interested in joining us?

To apply, please submit your application via our online application platform until November 30th 2023.

For more information on the project and application process, please check the IMPRS-IDI website.

Contact: IMPRS-IDI Coordination Office (

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