Graduate Student (MSc or PhD) Position Available: Southern Illinois Univeristy School of Biological Sciences

Published by Cori VanGalder on

Graduate Student (MSc or PhD) Position Available: Southern Illinois Univeristy School of Biological Sciences

A funded Graduate Student (via Teaching Assistantship) position in Fungal Host-Pathogen interactions is available in Fall 2022 in our research group. We are part of the Microbiology program ( in the School of Biological Sciences.

The candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the natural sciences. Previous experience working with fungi, cell culture, and human fungal pathogens is preferred but not required. Information about current lab projects can be found on our lab website ( This position requires acceptance into the Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and Biochemistry program ( Candidates must apply directly through the MBMB program. Applications will be reviewed as they arrive. In the application, please include a personal statement describing your purpose and objectives in pursuing graduate study, your research interest, and your previous research experience (if applicable).

Question regarding this position can be emailed to Dr. Vargas-Muñiz (

Graduate Student Responsibilities:

The candidate will generally perform and develop molecular biology techniques, animal care, Aspergillus fumigatus culturing and transformation, light and fluorescent microscopy, cell culture of immortalized and primary cell lines, and data analysis. The candidate will also assist in writing manuscripts for publication, generating data figures, staying current with the literature, and presenting their research at local, national, and international conferences (as the opportunities arise).

About our Lab:

Our lab has a deep and sustained interest in cell morphogenesis and how fungal cells regulate their shape. Our research interests are shaped by the critical roles that fungal morphology and the cell wall play in disease progression and antifungal drug targeting. In the last decade, there has been a notable increase in invasive mycoses, partly due to a rise in the immunocompromised patient population. Additionally, the range of geographically restricted endemic fungal diseases is expanding, which increases the size of the human populations at risk. To tackle this challenge, our research program aims to provide a mechanistic understanding of how fungal pathogens respond to anti-cell wall drugs and how fungi regulate their morphology. We also seek to understand how the host recognizes fungal spores and how these spores manage to avoid immune detections. This research program will provide critical insight into fungal cell biology, leading to effective strategies to treat invasive mycoses.

The Vargas-Muñiz Lab is deeply committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the academic workforce. We firmly believe that diversity improves the quality of research and education, making academia stronger. Each individual’s unique background contributes a distinct perspective to address complex scientific problems. In agreement with our ideals, we welcome inquiring minds regardless of their race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, veteran status, military obligation, marital status, and physical, mental, or sensory disability.