Date Posted
2 Feb 2022

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PhD Project
Jena University Hospital / Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Two PhD positions in Biochemistry / Cell biology / Neurobiology in an internationally known lab (subsequent postdoctorate in the lab possible, too) (m/f/d)

2 Feb 2022

Position Description

Using a wide range of molecular biological, protein biochemical and microscopic techniques as well as cell biological assays, our institute carries out groundbreaking basic research for the molecular implementation and control of the cellular processes underlying the development and plastic adaptations of cellular morphologies required for proper organ function.
Proper neuronal cell shape development and plasticity e.g. are essential prerequisites for the formation of neuronal networks, the information transfer in the brain as well as plastic adjustments representing an important basis for learning and memory processes.
All of these processes are largely brought about by actin cytoskeletal and membrane topology-modulating proteins. Identifying and molecularly understanding such components therefore is our top research focus.

The PhD projects:
The aim of the projects offered is to molecularly characterize physiological and pathophysiological forms of high-performance membrane topology-modulating proteins (e.g. see: Schneider et al. 2014 J. Cell Biol .; Seemann et al. 2017 eLIFE; Koch et al. 2020 Cereb. Cortex; Wolf et al. 2019 Nat. Cell Biol.) and to thereby assign mechanistic and cell biological functions in physiology and disease to them.
These studies are intended to provide essential new insights into the formation and plasticity of cell morphologies. In addition, research is to be carried out to elucidate how such proteins control the membrane-associated actin cytoskeleton and how their functions are regulated by various signaling pathways (e.g. see: Hou et al. 2015 PLoS Biol .; Izadi et al. 2018 J. Cell Biol .; Hou et al. 2018 Dev. Cell; Izadi et al., 2021 eLIFE; Ji et al., 2021 PLOS Biol.).
The projects thereby provide important insights into basic processes of life, such as neuronal network formation as well as information transfer and storage in the brain.

Qualification profile
• Master of Science or Diploma (in biochemistry, biology or similar)
• Motivation for independent scientific research in an ambitious, international team
• Reliability, accuracy, responsibility
• Sound, basic knowledge in: Molecular biology, protein biochemistry, cell biology, imaging
• Previous, more specialized experience with e.g. membrane interaction studies, high-resolution or electron microscopy, signal transduction studies may be an advantage, but is not a requirement
• Software knowledge (data evaluation and management; Excel)
• Fluent English is a must
• Knowledge of German language is not necessarily needed, as we are an international lab and our lab language mostly is English – but is of course appreciated

We offer
• 2 PhD positions for 3 years funded by the DFG (payed according to normal german TL-V tariff; 1. year 50-65% of postdoc salary depending on qualification, 2nd & 3rd year, 65% of postdoc salary; 34.000 Euro/year) (elongation beyond 3 years is possible to complete PhD and/or to subsequently expand your stay with us as a postdoc)
• Introduction into exciting research activities in an internationally known and respected research laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment
• Personal development opportunities through individual design of a research project
• Wide range of methods that are directly established in the lab
• Continuous technical and scientific support and guidance
• Embedding in graduate programs (IZKF, JSMM)
• Further training and further education offers, coaching and much more.
• Local, national and international network connections
• Flexible working hours

For further information:

The FSU Jena is an equal opportunity employer promoting the advance of women in science.
Jena was ranked second in the German career atlas (right behind Munich)!

How to Apply

Please direct your complete application (cover letter; CV incl. list of publications & honours, if any; certificates incl. grades (and an explanation/decoding of the grading system used)); 2-3 ref. addresses) to Prof. Dr. Britta Qualmann & PD Dr. Michael M. Kessels Institute of Biochemistry I, Jena University Hospital - Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany Please submit your application by E-mail to (PDFs preferred)

Position Category: Medical & Biological Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project. Salary: €30'000 - €40'000.