The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (Leibniz-HKI) investigates the pathobiology of human-pathogenic fungi and identifies targets for the development of novel natural product-based antibiotics. The department of Paleobiotechnology invites talented and highly gifted candidates to apply as Doctoral Researcher (f/div/m) in Natural Product Chemistry / Biotechnology for three years initially.

Research area: Since new anti-infectives are urgently needed to combat life-threatening diseases, novel approaches for their identification are necessary. We are interested in identifying and resurrecting biosynthetic genes from ancient DNA and metagenomes to access otherwise hidden antibiotics or other bioactive natural products and to study their evolution.

Our approach is highly interdisciplinary (chemistry, biotechnology, molecular biology, lab automation, archaeology, evolutionary biology, etc.) and collaborative (our main collaborators are biomolecular archaeologists at Harvard University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology). We would like to welcome a doctoral student in our department, who wants to explore this novel source of natural products from ancient times.


  • MSc degree with a focus on chemistry, biotechnology, molecular microbiology, biochemistry, or a related field
  • An interest in natural products and lab automation
  • The ability to work independently
  • Very good communication skills in English are required due to an international research team.

The department of Paleobiotechnology of Prof. Dr. Pierre Stallforth is embedded in the outstanding scientific environment of the Beutenberg Campus providing state-of-art research facilities and a highly integrative network of life science groups. We offer excellent technical facilities, a place in a committed team, as well as strong scientific collaborations. Salary is paid according to German TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees).

For further information: Prof. Dr. Pierre Stallforth | +49 3641 532 1527 |

Applications: Leibniz-HKI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It aims to increase the proportion of underrepresented groups in case of equal suitability. All qualified persons, regardless of color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other classification protected by law will receive consideration for employment.

Complete applications in English should include a cover letter, a CV containing a complete list of publications, a brief statement of research experiences, and the addresses of two possible referees and should be submitted via the Leibniz-HKI online application system, The deadline for the advertisement is August 31, 2023, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Selected Publications:

  • Klapper M, Hübner A, Ibrahim A, Wasmuth I, Borry M, Haensch VG, Zhang S, Al-Jammal WK, Suma H, Fellows Yates JA, Frangenberg J, Velsko IM, Chowdhury S, Herbst R, Bratovanov EV, Dahse HM, Horch T, Hertweck C, González Morales MR, Straus LG, Vilotijevic I, Warinner C, Stallforth P (2023). Natural products from reconstructed bacterial genomes of the Middle and Upper Paleolithic. Science 380(6645), 619-624.
  • Götze S, Vij R, Burow K, Thome N, Urbat L, Schlosser N, Pflanze S, Müller R, Hänsch VG, Schlabach K, Fazlikhani L, Walther G, Dahse HM, Regestein L, Brunke S, Hube B, Hertweck C, Franken P, Stallforth P (2023). Ecological niche-inspired genome mining leads to the discovery of crop-protecting nonribosomal lipopeptides featuring a transient amino acid building block. J Am Chem Soc 145(4), 2342-2342.

Apply now!

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