Gielen Group

Interdisciplinary PhD position available: Screening for bacterial biofilm formation at ultra-high-throughput

Antimicrobial resistance has evolved into a major healthcare threat which is further exacerbated by the diminished number of antibiotics in development. Bacterial biofilms pose a particular health threat as they display high resistance to antimicrobials and cause chronic infections in humans. This PhD project aims at identifying strategies to disrupt biofilm formation by understanding relationships between bacterial genotypes, biofilm phenotypes and related antibiotic resistance.

In this project, we will combine cutting-edge high-throughput screening technologies in microfluidic droplets with bacterial mutant libraries. Each droplet, whose volume typically ranges from femto to nanoliter scale represents a single reaction in which millions of individual biofilms can be formed and processed.

The team has complementary experience on the topic: Dr. Gielen’s lab develops high-throughput microfluidic imaging and selection platforms for screening single cell libraries. Dr. Remy Chait (University of Exeter, Biosciences) is expert in bacterial signal transduction and antimicrobial resistance.