Master's Student in the group of Martin Polz

We are looking for a highly motivated master's student interested in the co-evolutionary interactions of bacteria and their viruses. The master thesis project is taking place in the research group of Prof. Martin Polz at the Department of Microbial Ecology (DoME) at the University of Vienna. The duration of the project is for six-months.

Due to the immense evolutionary pressure imposed by phages, bacteria have evolved many mechanisms to evade phage infection and killing, for example, well-known CRISPR-Cas and restriction-modification systems. In turn, bacteriophages have developed various strategies to bypass immunity for successful infection. Yet, the diversity of phage evasion strategies and mechanisms of their action remain largely unknown. Therefore, it is essential to study phage-host interactions to understand the ecological dynamics of microbes and for potential application in phage therapy.

The master thesis project will study candidate counter-defense proteins of Vibrio phages which act as a counterplay against defense mechanisms of marine Vibrio bacteria. The project will include molecular cloning of the bacterial defense systems and viral counter-defense proteins in a laboratory strain of Vibrio, as well as bioinformatics and viral infection experiments.

Candidates should hold a BSc degree in Biology (particular emphasis in microbiology, microbial ecology, molecular biology, or similar). The applicant should have previous laboratory experience, particularly in the fields of microbiology and molecular biology. We are looking for a master's student who is highly motivated, with good communication skills, and ability to work in a large department with numerous labs. Our lab consists mainly of foreign scientists; therefore, candidates should have excellent English writing and oral communication skills.

Please enclose the following documents to your application:
• Letter of intent
• Curriculum Vitae
Please send it to: