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Zebrafish models of vascular development and disease

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, May 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Young, modern, and research oriented, the University of Potsdam has firmly established itself within the scientific landscape since its founding in 1991. Nationally and internationally renowned scientists teach and perform research here at Brandenburg’s largest university. The University of Potsdam is successful in acquiring third-party funds, delivers outstanding performance in technology and knowledge transfer, and has a very service-oriented administration. With about 20,000 students studying at three campuses – Am Neuen Palais, Griebnitzsee and Golm – the University of Potsdam is a prominent economic factor and engine of development for the region. The University of Potsdam has a total of about 2,750 faculty and staff members and is located in one of Germany’s most scenic areas.

As participant of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network V.A. Cure, we announce two PhD student positions in molecular biology/ genetics/ cell biology which will focus on zebrafish vascular biology (ESR 9/10). The Innovative Training Network (ITN) V.A. Cure trains Early-Stage Researchers (ESR) through collaborative research between Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and Finland.

Job description

The project aims to study the molecular mechanisms involved in diseases that are causing vascular anomalies. In our lab, we use genetic disease models in the zebrafish embryo, which has a relatively simple cardiovascular system compared with its mammalian counterparts. This will allow us to characterize pathological signaling events that are involved in vascular malformations. We would like to understand: What are the pathological signals that cause the abnormal morphogenesis of blood vessels? To what extent does the molecular identity of different vascular beds modify the progression towards a pathological state? How do endothelial cell behaviors change in response to pathological signaling? Can we use pharmacological screens to identify substances that suppress pathological vascular signaling?

Besides the thorough technical and scientific training, the Early Stage Researcher will get the opportunity to receive high quality training in
• State-of-the-art technologies including next-generation sequencing
• CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to generate zebrafish models of human pathologies
• Pharmacological suppression screens
• Confocal and light sheet microscopy
• Working in a large and modern zebrafish facility


We are looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic applicants (m/f/d) that have completed an M.A. degree with experience in molecular biology, cell biology, or developmental biology/genetics. We expect excellent communications skills in English.

Very important: Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements, see Funding Notes.

Appointment terms

The PhD student(s) will be appointed by the University of Potsdam under an employment contract for a full-time position (40 hours/week). The position is initially available for three years with the possibility of an extension. Salary will be commensurate to the monthly Living Allowance, Mobility Allowance and Family Allowance (if applicable) for Early Stage Researchers stated by the European Commission. The Allowances will be paid to the researcher(s) in monthly instalments. Local tax and social security regulations will apply.

How to apply

– Make sure you meet the qualifying requirements.
– Submit your application to by e-mail, mentioning ‘application for ESR9/10’ in the subject line. Please send one pdf file containing:
• A motivation letter describing your research career goals, skills and experience (cover letter)
• Curriculum vitae
• Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English or with a translation into English)
• Two letters of recommendation or the contact information for at least 2 referees.

Deadline for submitting applications: 1 May 2019

More information

Please visit for more information on the project, the recruitment process and selection criteria. Contact for questions about these positions is Prof. Dr. Salim Seyfried: .

Handicapped applicants will be given preference in case of equal suitability. The University of Potsdam strives to increase the proportion of women in research and teaching and specifically encourages female applicants to apply for these positions.

Funding Notes

To be eligible for this H2020-MSCA-ITN funded PhD student position, you must:
– not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account, and
– At the date of recruitment (=first day of employment), be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

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