ITM vacancies

Predoctoral researcher sexually transmitted diseases
Department of Clinical Sciences
  Apply before: 30 Dec.


Research context: understanding and preventing the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Alternative strategies to prevent and contain Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) resistance are urgently required. This study aims to contribute to this process by achieving a better understanding of the factors underpinning the emergence of resistance in core-groups and developing new treatment options to prevent and contain the emergence of multidrug-resistant and extensively resistant (XDR) NG. If we could treat and/or prevent NG and other STIs with non-antibiotic compounds, this would reduce the selection pressure towards antibiotic resistance. To this end we will assess the efficacy of chlorhexidine mouthwash/gargle (CH MWG) in eradicating isolated pharyngeal gonorrhoea and develop bacteriophage cocktails that can inhibit the growth of circulating and XDR NG in vitro. We will adapt an individual base model of NG transmission and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) emergence to model the probability of AMR developing under various STI screening scenarios. A final component will evaluate if we can induce resistance to chlorhexidine mouthwash in the NGmorbidostat – an in vitro system of rapid resistance that we have developed at ITM.

In the framework of this study we are looking for a predoctoral researcher.


  • You will be based in the Unit of STD, Department of Clinical Sciences, supervised by the promotor (Prof. Chris Kenyon) 
  • You will assist with the development of study protocols.
  • You will conduct the research that pertains to all the clinical aspects of the study.
  • You will conduct the bacteriophage laboratory work. 
  • You will conduct the NG morbidostat laboratory work in the STI Laboratory.
  • You will adapt the statistical model of AMR development in NG under various screening assumptions.
  • You will use the research to obtain a PhD.
  • You will present your research at scientific conferences and write scientific manuscripts.
  • You will co-draft applications for additional funding.


  • You have a Masters degree in science or medicine. Additional training in biomedical sciences would be an asset.
  • You wish to pursue a PhD.
  • You speak and write Dutch and English fluently, knowledge of French is an asset.
  • Research experience in the field of antimicrobial resistance, molecular biology or statistical modeling is an advantage.
  • Experience in clinical trials is a benefit.


  • An intellectually stimulating, international and socially committed environment, with room for personal initiative.
  • A full-time mandate of two years (extendable). Starting date: 1 February 2019.
  • A salary set according to the scales of the ITM and the Flemish universities and to your work experience, with supplementary benefits: a public transport subscription and/or bicycle fee, private pension scheme and luncheon vouchers.


For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Chris Kenyon (Head of the Unit of STD,, +32 3 247 07 86). Send your application with application form and motivation letter to, by 30 December 2018.