Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Petzold0119 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Petzold, Markus
Application deadline:
1. Jul 2019
Start of PhD project:
1. Jul 2019

Project description:

Development of an online tool for risk assessment and monitoring of water systems – detection and quantification of Gram-negative bacteria
Water systems are routinely controlled for the presence of waterborne pathogens such as Legionella spp., Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other Gram-negative bacteria. The detection and enumeration of such bacteria is mostly done by time-consuming culture-based methods which can take up to 10 days.
The aim of this project is to develop a fast and robust detection system for a broader spectrum of Gram-negative bacteria in water systems. You will establish a detection and quantification method which includes the concentration of bacteria from water samples, the separation of target organisms from the bacterial community and its enumeration. During your project you will define suitable target molecules on the bacteria for the separation and subsequent molecular detection. Furthermore, you will implement a robust method for the simultaneous differentiation of living and dead cells

Please submit your application to:
Schrammel, B., Petzold, M., Cervero-Arago, S. Sommer, R., Lück, C. Kirschner, A. Persistent presence of outer membrane epitopes during short- and long-term starvation of five Legionella pneumophila strains. BMC Microbiol 2018; 18(1):75, doi: 10.1186/s12866-018-1220-x.

Final report (German): Energy efficiency and hygiene in drinking water systems.

Petzold, M., Prior, K., Moran-Gilad, J., Harmsen, D., Lück, C. Epidemiological information is key when interpreting whole genome sequence data - lessons learned from a large Legionella pneumophila outbreak in Warstein, Germany, 2013. Euro Surveill 2017; 22(45), doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.45.17-00137

Petzold, M., Thürmer, A., Menzel, S., Mouton, J. W., Heuner, K., Lück, C. A structural comparison of lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis loci of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains. BMC Microbiol 2013; 13:198, doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-13-198.

Methods that will be used:
quantitative fluorescence microscopy, immunomagnetic separation, ELISA, qPCR, flow cytometry, microfluidics, competition assays,
Cooperation partners:
Fa. Oculyze GmbH, Wildau
Fa. Carela, Rheinfelden
Dr. med. Christian Lück, Dresden (Legionella consultant lab)
Personal qualifications:
You are enthusiastic about molecular biology and microbiology. You are interested in water hygiene and you have basic knowledge in biochemistry, bioinformatics and statistics. Furthermore, you can work independently!
We offer a well-equipped lab, a young and interdisciplinary team with expertise in water-related research. A Master degree (or equivalent) is required. You will get a 3-year contract (65% TVöD, E13).
microbiology, drinking water hygiene, molecular biology, concentration, separation, outer membrane, viability, fluorescence, microfluidic