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PhD student (m/f/d) “Communication between neutrophilic granulocytes and other cells of the innate and adaptive immune system”

Clinic for Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology

Monday, August 31, 2020 Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The University Medical Center of Göttingen (UMG), Dpt. of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, offers a position for:

PhD student (m/f/d)

Initially limited to 3 years, part-time | salary according to TV-L

The University Medical Center Göttingen is a tertiary care center and offers great development potential. Its 7,900 employees work in over 65 departments and facilities to provide top-quality patient care, excellent research and modern teaching. Göttingen, “City of Science”, located near the center of Germany, the University Medical Center Göttingen is embedded in the city’s attractive network of scientific research facilities.

The University Medical Center of Göttingen (UMG), Dpt. of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, offers a PhD student position in a research project analyzing the

“Communication between neutrophilic granulocytes and other cells of the innate and adaptive immune system”

The position will be available at the earliest possible date and is initially limited to 3 years (salary according to TV-L, 50 %).


Cells of the innate immune system communicate with each other and with cells of the adaptive immune system to orchestrate immunologic responses. Communication between cells influence important cellular functions such as apoptosis, production of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and collective cell behavior. Interestingly, the signaling molecules that neutrophilic granulocytes use to communicate with each other, are poorly characterized.

The goal of this project is to assess how neutrophils produce and release these signaling molecules, which receptors are engaged on the neutrophil surface and which biological effects certain signaling molecules have in neutrophil biology. Additionally, we will investigate interactions between neutrophils and other cells of the immune system such as B- and T-cells. We also develop novel imaging techniques that help us visualize cellular processes and interactions (i.e. expansion microscopy, near- infrared microscopy).

Prospectively, the project can be extended to encompass the interactions between neutrophils and tumor cells, particularly melanoma cells, as neutrophils appear to play a pivotal role in tumor-immunology.

We have a strong focus on microscopy (including life-cell imaging, confocal microscopy and reflection interference microscopy as well as the above-mentioned novel techniques), physical methods such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), as well as nanotechnology-based methods to detect signaling molecules in real-time and at a very high spatial and temporal resolution. Cell culture techniques, working with primary human cells and patient samples as well as murine models and of course standard biochemical methods will also be part of this project.

About us:

Settled at the interface of immunology, medicine and biophysics, this project will be supervised by PD Dr. Luise Erpenbeck, MD (Dpt. of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Homepage: Our lab is in close collaboration with Sebastian Kruss, PhD (Institute for Physical Chemistry, Göttingen, Homepage: Dr. Erpenbeck’s research focuses on innate immunity in inflammatory diseases, while Dr. Kruss has a longstanding interest in biophysical aspects of cellular behavior and on nanothechnology.

The student will be enrolled in one of the GGNB graduate programs (Molecular Medicine, Neurobiology or Physics of Complex Biological Systems).

We offer:

• the possibility to work on an interdisciplinary, cutting-edge project
• two well-equipped, modern laboratories with state-of-the-art technology
• a highly motivated research team

Required qualifications:

• motivation to solve complex biological problems
• an interest in imaging techniques, combined with basic molecular biology approaches
• a strong interest in learning methods new from different disciplines
• the ability to think outside the box and to combine results from different fields
• Master or Diploma in biology, physics, biophysics, biochemistry, molecular medicine or a similar discipline

For more information also see our homepage:

Please direct your applications directly to PD Dr. Luise Erpenbeck (lab head), E-Mail only (please send your application documents as a PDF file, please include a CV, letter of motivation as well as certificates).

Starting date: as soon as possible, Duration: 3 years

Men are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities and equal qualifications will be given preferential treatment.

We look forward to receiving your application by August 31st, 2020:

University Medical Center Göttingen
Clinic for Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology
PD Dr. med. Luise Erpenbeck
Lab Head
37099 Göttingen
Tel.: 0551/3962572

Please send your application only via E-Mail as a PDF-file.

Travel and application fees cannot be refunded or transferred.

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