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Development of a universal, chemically defined growth medium for pathogenic bacteria

Friday 18 February 2011

Bernard Metz, PhD and Leo van der Pol, PhD

Project
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) plays an important role in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. All activities that take place in this area are the responsibility of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control (CIb). The vaccinology department of CIb is well equiped to respond to emerging diseases, like Q-fever, through the development of vaccines. The complete vaccine chain is present, from concept research to large-scale process development for clinical studies. We are currently working on a novel growth medium for pathogenic bacteria. This chemically defined medium should be able to sustain high biomass concentrations for a broad range of human pathogens.

The project has a vacant student position. You will be developing a universal growth medium by using our experience with media design for specific pathogens. The resulting, preliminary medium will be optimized and tested for performance at large-scale (3 to 40L). For your thesis you are expected to work self-reliant, however frequent input from our process development, chemistry and microbiology experts will be available. You will be a member of the process development group and learn to work safely with bacterial pathogens that can cause whooping cough, diphtheria, meningitis, tetanus, Q-fever or tuberculosis.

Affinity with the mentioned knowlegde areas is a prerequisite. We prefer a MSc thesis student who can join us for six months or more, because the training in the ML-2 biosafety facility will require some time.

Contact
Bernard Metz
Scientist R&D Process Development
phone: 030 274 3373
email: bernard.metz@rivm.nl

Additional info
You will receive a compensation of 550 euro gross per month for your work at the CIb.

Literature
Thalen, M., et al., Rational medium design for Bordetella pertussis: basic metabolism. J Biotechnol, 1999. 75(2-3): p. 147-59.

Van de Waterbeemd, B., et al., Gene-expression-based quality scores indicate optimal harvest point in Bordetella pertussis cultivation for vaccine production. Biotechnol Bioeng, 2009. 103(5): p. 900-908.

Baart GJ, et al., Scale-up for bulk production of vaccine against meningococcal disease. Vaccine, 2007. 25(34): p. 6399-408.

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