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Postdoc-Epigenetic regulation of innate immune responses to bacterial infection

the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)

  • Stand­plaats Bilthoven
  • Contractduur For a period of 24 months (from 1-4-2020 till 1-04-2022)
  • Uren per week 36
  • Maand­salaris €2.737 - €4.400
  • Salaris­niveau schaal 10
  • Niveau Gepromoveerd
  • Vakgebied Onderzoek / wetenschap
  • Reageren voor 21 februari Nog 1 dag
  • Vacaturenummer I&V-IIV-063
  • Plaatsingsdatum 6 februari 2020
  • Dienst­verband Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd


Prevention and control of life threatening diseases such as whooping cough, pneumococcal and meningococcal diseases has been mainly accomplished by the use of vaccines. Although the incidence of these infectious diseases has dramatically decreased compared to the pre-vaccine era, considerable number of (fatal) cases still occurs.  In order to improve existing measures to control vaccine preventable diseases, it is of great importance to understand how the immune system protects us against the causative agents. In addition, it is also crucial to consider pathogen adaptation and to study the effect that emerging strains can have on the immune response of vaccinated individuals.

The innate immune system is the first line of defense that plays an important role in sensing and killing pathogens and in addition, orchestrates the induction and steering of the adaptive immune response. Pathogens can modulate the host immune response by among others altering the chromatin structure and transcriptional program of the host that can either promote defense or benefit the pathogen to establish a successful infection. The general goal of this project is to get a better understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying innate immunity to pathogens. The focus is on epigenetic reprograming of innate cells upon exposure to Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of  whooping cough.

Using a multidisciplinary approach that includes microbiology, molecular and cell biology as well as biochemistry, genomics and innate immunity, this projects aims to uncover the role of chromatin modifications of innate cells (monocytes/macrophages) upon exposure to B. pertussis on the

(i)                   transcriptional program and

(ii)                  immune cell function.

We are also interested in elucidating whether monocytes from vaccinated individuals can be trained or tolerized by different emerging B. pertussis strains for different inflammatory stimuli and to determine the epigenetic reprograming involved.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, dedicated postdoctoral fellow with an academic degree in biomedical sciences with a strong publication track record, specialized in the field of molecular biology and immunology who is interested in investigating host-pathogen interactions.  


You have the following skills

  • experience with immunological, and molecular techniques including transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq), chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIPseq) and transcriptional profiling (RNA-seq).
  • experience in bioinformatics for analyzing  large-scale datasets.
  • result oriented and work effectively both alone and in a team.
  • can bridge different disciplines and know how to translate the results to address public health problems.
  • contribute to an open, stimulating and pleasant working environment and actively participate in scientific discussions.
  • Excellent English communication skills, both verbal and written.


  • Salaris­niveau schaal 10
  • Maand­salaris Min €2.737 Max. €4.400 (bruto)
  • Dienst­verband Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd
  • Contract­duur For a period of 24 months (from 1-4-2020 till 1-04-2022)
  • Minimaal aantal uren per week 36
  • Maximaal aantal uren per week 36

Overige arbeids­voorwaarden

Personal growth and career development is very important to the national government and it provides plenty of possibilities. The national government has a number of individual choices in composing your package of benefits.


Please send us your apllication through the digital applicationform and letter your motivation to Debbie van Baarle, Head of the IMM department.

Vaccination is mandatory.

Meer over jouw toekomstige afdeling

The center for Immunology of Infectious Diseases and Vaccines (IIV) at RIVM is the knowledge center of the government in the field of immunology of infectious diseases and vaccines. The core mission of this center is to provide information and advice about effectiveness of vaccines, vaccination strategies and immune responses against infectious diseases to parties within the government and to the general public. In support of this task, research performed at IIV is focused on optimization of the effectiveness and safety of current and future vaccination programs, immunosurveillance, age-related efficacy of the immune responses and correlates of protection. In this work the center collaborates intensively with other RIVM knowledge centers and national and international collaborators specializing in immunology, microbiology, epidemiology and outbreak control of infectious diseases.

the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) protects and promotes public health and consumer safety, and we help to protect the quality of the environment. We’ve done so for more than a hundred years and RIVM has become a knowledge institute that is at the heart of society. RIVM carries out independent research and provides the government with trusted policy advice regarding health and the environment. We deal with issues concerning infectious diseases, vaccinations, population studies, lifestyle, nutrition, drugs, the environment, sustainability and safety. We do this through research, advice, direction or implementation. RIVM annually produces and publishes numerous reports. RIVM has a total of approximately 1.800 staff.

the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)


Voor meer informatie over deze vacature:

Elena Pinelli, Senior wetenschappelijk medewerker


Voor meer informatie over de sollicitatieprocedure:

Linda de Greef-Norden, acancy administration


Asmae Uali, Vacancy administration



Digitaal solliciteren

the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) nodigt je uit op hun site te solliciteren. Via onderstaande knop verlaat je deze site ga je direct naar het sollicitatieformulier. Het Rijk hecht waarde aan een diverse en inclusieve organisatie. Werken in divers samengestelde teams maakt ons effectiever, innovatiever en het werk leuker. Eenieder wordt daarom uitgenodigd te solliciteren.

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The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
  • Stand­plaats Bilthoven
  • Uren per week 36
  • Reageren voor 24 februari
  • Dienst­verband Tijdelijke aanstelling / Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd
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