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PhD-Student Position in Synaptic Neuroscience: investigating the developmental aspects of IHC pre-synaptogenesis in auditory hair cells

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Vogl
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

PhD-Student Position in Synaptic Neuroscience funding is available for 3.5 years, part time 65 % | salary according to TV-L

The University Medical Center Göttingen is a tertiary care center and offers great development potential. Its 7,700 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.

Mammalian sound encoding relies on faithful and precise neurotransmission between cochlear inner hair cells (IHC) and afferent spiral ganglion neurons. To master this challenging task, the presynaptic active zones of IHCs are equipped with presynaptic specializations –termed 'synaptic ribbons' – that facilitate high rates of vesicular release and subsequent replenishment, even during prolonged periods of ongoing stimulation. While the molecular architecture and function of ribbon-type active zones has been an area of intense research, the presynaptic development prior to hearing onset still remains largely enigmatic. Hence, this project will focus on developmental aspects of IHC pre-synaptogenesis in auditory hair cells and aims to identify the key molecules, as well as the underlying cellular processes that determine the functional maturation and presynaptic plasticity of this high-throughput synapse.

The successful candidate will be tightly integrated within the Institute for Auditory Neuroscience (University Medical Center) and the III. Physical Institute (Georg August University). The project will employ various gene manipulation approaches in combination with electrophysiology, optogenetics and advanced light-microscopic imaging techniques (e.g. live-cell wide-field, confocal and stimulated emission depletion [STED] microscopy) to decipher molecular determinants of presynaptic active zone formation and maturation in acutely dissected or cultured mammalian inner ear preparations.

We are looking for highly motivated applicants with a strong background in neuroscience and/or live-cell imaging; additional experience in molecular biology or programming skills are of advantage. Moreover, the ability to work in an interdisciplinary (i.e. combining molecular, ultrastructural and physiological approaches) and international research team is an essential prerequisite. This position is supported by a DFG Grant (Collaborative Research Center 889) and the funding will be available for 3.5 years. Income is equivalent to E13 / 65 %.

The Göttingen Campus is a leading Neuroscience Center hosting numerous internationally renowned research institutions. This includes the University and ist Medical Center, three Max Planck Institutes, the European Neuroscience Institute and the German Primate Center. The Institute for Auditory Neuroscience & InnerEarLab offers a stimulating multidisciplinary research and training environment and operates state of the art research infrastructure. Moreover, the institute is tightly integrated in the Campus with research groups hosted also at non-university institutions and runs numerous productive collaborations on Campus such as within the collaborative sensory research center 889 (, the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience (BCCN, and the Center for Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain ( as well as beyond the Campus.

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

We look forward to receiving your application by January 31st, 2019:

University Medical Center Göttingen
Institute for Auditory Neuroscience
Christian Vogl
Junior Group Leader
D-37099 Göttingen
Tel.: +49 (0)551/39-61945
Fax: +49 (0)551/39-61957
E-Mail: [Email Address Removed]

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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